Leon J. Christen

On September 16, 2020, Leon Joseph Christen, loving husband and father of three, passed away at the age of 93. Leon was born in Princeton, New Jersey to Joseph and Marie Louise Christen. He enlisted in the Navy in April, 1945 and served in the Naval Amphibious Forces in the South Pacific. Upon return from the military, he matriculated at Princeton University where he graduated cum laude in 1949 with a B.S. in engineering and went on to receive his M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1952. He married Rosemarie Simone in 1953. After starting his career in New York City, they moved to Canada where Leon worked for an international insurance brokerage firm. In 1960, they returned to Princeton and Leon took over the family business, Lahiere’s Restaurant. Lahiere’s was a Princeton institution and family run for 91 years. Among its many accolades was the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award. Leon built the restaurant into an iconic gathering place for generations of Princeton families, students, faculty members and the occasional celebrity. He delighted in sharing his love of food and wine not only with his family, but with everyone he met. Upon retirement, Leon and Rosemarie moved full time to their beloved home in Mantoloking. There, Leon enjoyed boating, fishing, model ship building and of course, great food and wine. He will always be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather with a great sense of humor and a silly joke to tell. He is survived by Rosemarie, his wife of 67 years, his children, Caroline Boucher and husband Peter of Edwards, Colorado, Michele Antoniewicz and husband Ron of Jupiter, Florida and Joseph Christen and wife Jill of Princeton, New Jersey and four grandchildren. A memorial service will take place at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to Wall Township First Aid and Rescue Squad, PO Box 1105, Wall Township, NJ 07719.