Casey Lecher and her son Gage at Yankton Auto Body. As a mechanic and part owner of Yankton Auto Body, this new mom has her work cut out for her.

Casey Lecher is a modern day Rosie the Riveter.

As a mechanic and part owner of Yankton Auto Body, this new wife and mom has her work cut out for her.

“I work almost 50 hours a week here,” Lecher said. “I came back just five days after I had my baby. It’s fun-filled and exciting. But it is really hard work.”

But Lecher hasn’t always worked a non-traditional female job.

Not long ago, Lecher worked at a cellular company in Omaha.

“I was miserable,” Lecher said. “I was bored out of my mind. Have you ever met anyone who was mad at their cell phone company? Every single day I had someone mad at me. Their cell phone bill was too expensive or their cell phones weren’t working - it was just constant.”

Lecher said that she was not the kind of girl who would usually be working a desk job.

“But it had benefits,” she said. “So what was I to do?”

It wasn’t until a friend that worked at the Bullseye Paintless Dent Repair Company (PDR) told Lecher to take a couple weeks off to work for the company that Lecher found her true calling.

“I really liked my two weeks there,” Lecher said. “So I never went back.”

Though Lecher didn’t know much at the time about auto reconditioning, she did know a little because of her dad.

“My dad and I rebuilt an engine together when I was 15,” Lecher said. “I didn’t really want to do it, but he also didn’t make me do it. Now he has to call me to help him with things like fix his radiator because he doesn’t know how. So that is a nice change of events.”

Lecher traveled with the PDR company for three years until the company stopped in Phoenix after a hail storm.

“I loved it but I just didn’t want to travel anymore,” Lecher said. “I was never home for more than a week at a time, and that was only three or four times a year. I missed not having to pack a bag. You really learn to love and respect all the things that you have got, and learn what is really important in life. Like your family, your home and your bed. And I say your bed

because there are plenty of beds, but nothing is like your bed and your sheets at home.”


While working in Phoenix, Good Wrench Auto Body offered Lecher a job. “The first thing I did was call my dad,” Lecher said. “My dad has always been protective and didn’t even want me to move to Omaha because that is a ‘big, bad, city, but he told me to do it. And so I did.”

Good Wrench Auto Body taught Lecher how to weld and do body work. She said that everything she has learned about auto body work has always been hands-on.

“That is the best way to do it is just on the job training,” Lecher said. “Though, part of me would have loved to have gone to school for it, the other part of me knows that I never could have realistically taken off the time to do it.”

Lecher said that every car is like a puzzle to her, making her job the best job ever.

“Mentally I’m a puzzler,” Lecher said. “I love puzzles. So when I am taking a car apart and putting it back together there is just that satisfaction there.”

Lecher said she also gets satisfaction from the customer’s faces when they see their vehicle in good condition again.

“When you take a vehicle that is broken - that somebody has invested money and feelings in - and you give it back to them shiny, washed and detailed, I wouldn’t trade the feeling for the world,” she said. “That look that those people get on their face when they see their ‘baby’ who has been hurt, and who is now all better is priceless.”

It wasn’t until a big hailstorm hit Yankton three years ago that Lecher moved to the Midwest.

“I fixed a bunch of the cars and just never left,” she said. “I like small towns. It’s nice to be in a place where someone might pick you up if you fell. It wasn’t like that in Phoenix.”

It was in Yankton that Lecher met Cy Hohnbach and Wayne Buss, co-owners of Yankton Auto Body.

“We met at a shop and ended up going out on our own in our own shop,” Lecher said. “It is the best thing that has ever happened in my career.”

Lecher and the other co-owners are able to provide services such as glass replacement, paint and refinishing, fiberglass repair and many other kinds of bodywork.

It was also in Yankton that she met her husband Karll Lecher. “He moved here from Phoenix six months after I did and we had never met,” Lecher laughed. “It’s the strangest thing. It was like he was stalking me and he didn’t even know it.”

When Lecher’s now husband first heard that she did auto body work he thought it was awesome.

“He is not a car buff,” Lecher said. “I have fixed probably seven different things on his vehicle since we have been together. So he thinks that I’m the coolest thing that has ever happened to him. He has got all of his car help right at home.”

The Lechers had a son Gage Lecher just three month ago.

“I was here the same day I had him,” Lecher said smiling. “Who’d have thought I would be a mom? But I love it.”

Those who come into Yankton Auto Body on a Friday, may get to catch a glimpse of the little grease monkey.

“Karll watches him over the week and works weekends so I bring him in,” Lecher laughed. “Why not? He is such a good baby.”

Though being a part owner of an auto body shop and a mommy is a hard job, Lecher said she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Lecher said that ten years ago, she would have never seen herself being what she is today.

“This is all because a friend reached out to help me,” she said. “If you are unhappy, take any opportunity that you can get. Because you never know what it may lead to.”


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