German engineer and inventor, Edmund Maucher de Wooster remembers
WOOSTER – Edmund Maucher was the kind of man who spoke more by his actions than by his voice.
Family, colleagues and neighbors celebrated the quiet man who owned nearly 100 patents – some by himself; others he shared – for Schaeffler transmission systemsformerly LuK, Monday with a wake at TJ’s restaurant to honor his German heritage.
Maucher died on March 5. He was 82 years old.
Maucher came from Germany in 1977 as the first engineer for the German company which had just started in Wooster assembling clutches for manual transmissions. He helped expand the company’s products to include torque converters and grow from a few hundred employees to nearly 2,000 today.
“Edmund laid the foundation for the company’s reputation,” its first chief executive, Dieter Kaesgen, said of Maucher’s trips to Detroit to talk with the engineering departments of major US automakers. “He was a great engineer who won the trust of the engineers. If Edmund said that’s what you had to do, that’s what they would do.”
He accomplished this with few words, the same way he invented his inventions.
“Engineers like him spend a lot of time thinking and dreaming things in their brains that no one else would think about,” said Kathie Gray, who served as his administrative assistant for much of the 1980s. “He could sit for hours and stare at the wall and we thought he was crazy, but he was coming up with great inventions.”
Gray remained friends with Maucher after working in other areas of the business, and even planned much of Monday’s vigil, reaching out to past and present colleagues and family across the United States and Germany.
Family trip from Germany and North Carolina for the wake of Edmund Maucher
Ursula Bisinger and Paul Missel were teenagers when their uncle left for the United States. The niece and nephew came from Germany to pay their respects.
“I knew he was an engineer, I knew he had inventions, but I didn’t know he was the one who invented this special clutch,” Bisinger said, pointing to a self-adjusting clutch on display in the vigil. “He never talked about it.”
Missel said he researched the clutch on the internet and discovered that it takes complex math to develop.
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Another family member who traveled quite a distance was her stepson, Tyler Hofe, from North Carolina.
What Hofe said he will miss most about his stepfather were the leisurely walks they shared on Maucher’s farm in the Jeromesville area, enjoying the trees, flowers and wildlife.
Hofe lived on the farm, which Maucher bought in the early 1980s during his formative years and has visited often since going to college at Kent State and then eventually moved to the east coast.
Engineer Wooster enjoyed growing flowers and vegetables on his Jeromesville farm
Neighbors will miss the flowers and vegetables Maucher grew. He had a greenhouse behind his house and German flower boxes at every window in his house. He often brought produce, especially tomatoes, to LuK/Schaeffler even after his retirement, Gray said.
Although he mostly kept to himself, his longtime neighbor Sue Barr said Maucher always waved and said “hi” if he was working in his gardens.
Barr was amazed at what he could do with just one arm – Maucher’s right arm had to be amputated due to cancer in the early 1990s. That never stopped him from doing anything, his family, friends and colleagues agree.
Using his engineering skills to compensate for his disability, Barr said, Maucher set up a contraption with a long pipe resembling a shepherd’s hook to help him run a pipe to the flower boxes on the top floor of his house.
Just as they were when he had to have his arm amputated, neighbors were there for him after he suffered a stroke and came to Life Care Hospice in Wooster as he had no family nearby .
Reverend Stephen Moran, who celebrated Monday’s funeral mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church before the vigil, centered on the power of neighbors helping neighbors in his homily, mentioning the parable of the Good Samaritan.
David Lohnes, a longtime friend of Maucher’s at St. Mary’s Church, said it was heartening to see a neighbor and her two children visit Maucher at the Hospice when he went to see his friend.
Just as Maucher was always quietly there for LuK/Schaeffler to help him succeed, he rarely missed the 8 a.m. mass at St. Mary’s.
“He sat over there,” Lohnes said, pointing to a bench in the back. “He belonged. Every time I saw him, he always had the biggest smile. You just felt that joy. He didn’t say it, but he exuded it.”
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