Charles E. Asher
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Veteran, Friend and lifelong hobby enthusiast. Born Oct. 8, 1937, in Salem, Mo. Died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, peacefully in his home in Elizabeth, Ind., age 84.
Raised in Winona, Mo., Charlie attended the University of Missouri and earned a civil engineering degree in 1959.
Charlie was commissioned in the United States Navy and served his country for 24 distinguished years in which he was highly decorated. During those years, Charlie honorably served in the Vietnam War as a navigator (TACCO). He was awarded the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal (eight awards), among others. Charlie retired as the executive commander at Dam Neck Naval Base in Virginia Beach, Va.
After retiring from the military in 1984, Charlie continued his service in Indiana as the NJROTC instructor at New Albany High School. For 15 years, Charlie helped many young adults find their purpose and calling through his leadership. Charlie’s impact was not only present in the classroom, but also in the everyday lives of his students. His cadets became his family. He often welcomed them into his home for cookouts and pool parties.
While Charlie officially retired from New Albany High School in 2000, he wasn’t ready to embrace the retired life quite yet. He continued to work for the school as what many would call the “technology handy-man.”
Charlie’s entire occupational life centered around service. He served our country, our youth and our public schools. But, what is most honorable about Charlie was his love for his family. He was a loving husband, supportive father and the best grandpa (Pop) there ever was. He was the anchor of the family.
Charlie is survived by three beautiful daughters who live in Jackson, Calif.: Sheliah Asher, Benita Asher (Bill) and Larissa Wood (Chris).
Charlie is also survived by the love of his life, his wife of 37 years, Cordie. The two were married in 1984 and, at that time, Charlie gained a son, Keith Koons of Elizabeth; a daughter, Cindy Stein (Tommy) of Corydon, Ind.; and a son, Eddie Koons (Lea) of Lanesville, Ind. While many call this a blended family, to Charlie it was just a family. A year after their marriage, Charlie and Cordie became grandparents to Ashley Brannom (Trey) of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Tiffany Stansbury (Daniel) of Corydon. Charlie and his two granddaughters were inseparable. They were his “lil’ buddies” and, in the coming years, the two would tag along with their Pop to do everything, visit his classroom at NAHS, help him work on cars, go fishing or patiently wait for him to finish his daily mid-day nap in the summer months to return outside to play. Several years later, Charlie and Cordie were blessed again with a grandson, Ralph Koons (Sarah) of Milltown, Ind., and he quickly joined in on all of the adventures with the girls. Years later, Cordie and Charlie gained four more additional granddaughters: Elise Frazier (Noah), Sydney Lawson and Amy and Lauren Koons, all of Lanesville. Charlie and Cordie were blessed to also have five great-grandchildren.
After fully retiring from New Albany High School, the couple decided to live life fully and became snowbirds. Cordie and Charlie lived in Moore Haven, Fla., at The Glades for 13 winters. There they met many other couples who instantly became part of their extended family. These years allowed Cordie and Charlie time to enjoy each other’s company, good restaurants and the warm Florida sun.
Looking back, Charlie’s life was full until his final months. Cordie often said he was “a man of many talents.” His list of hobbies was endless. Every year brought a new interest for him. Collecting and working on Mustangs, fishing, wood working, hunting, gardening, camping and boating, computer genius, 3-D printing, golfing, riding his motorcycle, spending hours at the counter of New Albany Auto Parts or Elizabeth Auto Parts talking with the guys. He never stopped learning or tinkering; he certainly never wasted his days.
After a brave four-year battle with sarcoma, Charlie passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, in his own home, joining his mother and father, Dewey and Marna Asher, his brother, Connie, and infant sister, June Marie.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 5 p.m. at Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sarcoma Foundation.
While Charlie’s physical presence is now absent from our lives, his love is woven into each and every one of us.