Christian Leonard Maisch, 83, auto repair shop owner

Christian Leonard Maisch of Cherry Hill had a forest-green Ford Model B pickup that he was fond of taking to parades, advertising the name of his business on the wooden side panels of the bed. For 40 years, Mr. Maisch owned Nu Car Collision Services in Camden.

Mr. Maisch, 83, died suddenly at home on Tuesday, March 14. 

Born in Camden, Mr. Maisch graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1952. There he met his wife-to-be, Barbara Jefferis, when they attended the prom -- each with a different date. In 1956, the two had a September wedding. They had a “long and loving” marriage of 60 years, said the couple’s youngest daughter, Alison Brothers.

Mr. Maisch then attended Rutgers Business School. He worked as the body shop manager of a local car dealership before he started his own business.

Alison and siblings Janice and Andrew were all swimmers, and Mr. Maisch began his years as a swimming official as his children went through school. He continued after they graduated from college.

“He had unconditional support for us regardless of what kind of a meet we had. If we did great, we all celebrated. If we did not do so well, he still hugged us and told us that he was proud of us,” Brothers said.

Mr. Maisch served for a number of years as a board member for the Jersey Wahoos Swim Club and was a member of the Woodbine Swim Club for more than 40 years, she said.

Her father was also a Master Mason with the Merchantville  Lodge 119 for more than 50 years. As a member, Mr. Maisch attended social events and was proud of the fundraising done for the Shriners, said fellow member and friend Brian Zimmerman.

“He was salt of the earth,” Zimmerman said. “When most businesses were pulling out of Camden, he stayed.”

Zimmerman also shared a hobby with Mr. Maisch with their interest in model trains that included HO and LGB scales. A train looped around the family Christmas tree on a platform with a village, his daughter said.

Zimmerman recalled the outdoor train that once ran next to the backyard pond.

“He loved sitting near the pond and could spend hours out there,” said Zimmerman, who would often meet at Mr. Maisch’s favorite diner, the New Maple Hill Restaurant in Maple Shade. His favorite was pancakes, but he always ordered a side of bacon for his rescue dog Nala, a pug-chihuahua mix.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 21, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Falco Caruso & Leonard Funeral Home, 6600 N. Browning Rd., Pennsauken. A funeral service will follow.

Donations in memory of Mr. Maisch may be sent to the Voorhees Animal Orphanage, 419 Cooper Rd., Voorhees, N.J. 08043.

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