Smithsburg man killed in car wreck known for his willingness to help others

George Masser would help family members with plumbing problems and other issues

November 16, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |

The family of a Smithsburg man who died Tuesday in a car crash said he will be remembered for his sense of humor and willingness to help others.

Alexa Masser said her father-in-law, George Masser, liked to tell stories and play cards with his children and grandchildren.

"He will be missed," Alexa Masser said. "He would tease the kids like there was no tomorrow. He was always making them laugh."

Alexa Masser said her father-in-law was well known in the community. He owned George's Auto Body in Frederick, Md., in the 1970s and later worked for the Frederick County Board of Education at Linganore High School, where he was in the maintenance department.

She said his health had declined over the years and he had a hard time getting around. He was living with his son, Monte Masser, 54, and daughter-in-law Martha Masser, 48, in their Smithsburg home.

When the accident occurred, George Masser, 77, was being driven by Monte and Martha Masser from a doctor's appointment in Frederick, Alexa Masser said.

Maryland State Police said George Masser was riding in the front passenger seat of a Nissan Altima when it was struck by another vehicle at about 5:35 p.m. near the intersection of Md. 66 and Republican Avenue near Smithsburg.

He was taken to Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where he died of his injuries.

Troopers said that for unknown reasons, a Ford Mustang driven by Gabrielle Weaver, 20, of Falling Waters, W.Va., crossed the centerline and struck the Masser's car head-on.

State police said Wednesday that they didn't have Weaver's condition or further details about the accident.

Monte Masser also was taken to Meritus to be treated for nonlife-threatening injuries. He remained in the hospital Wednesday.

Martha Masser was taken to R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. She was listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Alexa Masser said she jokingly called her father-in-law "Old Man" because her husband is also named George Masser.

She said she would miss having him around.

"He was someone you'd want to have a cup of coffee with," Alexa Masser said. "He always had a story."

Shirley Coblentz, George Masser's cousin, said the two used to go out for coffee about twice a week to talk about a variety of subjects.

She said George Masser was melancholy after his wife, Shelba, died in 2005.

"He really missed her a lot," she said. "He missed her so much."

A Dallas Cowboys fan, George Masser would call her on the phone to tease her about the Washington Redskins' losing streak.

Coblentz said her cousin was always willing to help fix plumbing problems and other issues at her home and rental properties.

Their meetings decreased after his health started to decline, but they used the phone to catch up.

Coblentz said she picked up the phone Tuesday thinking it was George Masser on the other end of the line. It turned out to be a call notifying her of his death.

"The phone had become his social network" because of his health, Coblentz said. "It was his outlet. I will miss him."

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