Robert Davis Asher passed away peacefully at age 96, on October 23, 2023, at Brookhaven, a retirement community in Lexington, MA.
Born May 20, 1927, Bob and his older brother Jerry were raised by Rae and Ben Asher in Leominster, MA. He rowed on the Cornell University crew team and graduated from Cornell in 1945. He sailed around the world for two years as a Merchant Marine de-mobilizing armaments after WW II.
Bob joined the family shmatta business, Asher Slacks, in Fitchburg, MA, founded by his Lithuanian grandfather. Bob, Jerry and their father Benny ran the business together for 43 years. Pro-union, they were caring and generous managers who employed multiple generations of families in the community. Bob especially relished serving as the face and body of the Asher brand, appearing in full-page magazine advertisements. After retiring, he enjoyed a second career as a professional actor, appearing in various TV commercials and national print ads as well as providing voice overs. A highlight was when he appeared on the cover of Boston Magazine’s “Top Doctors” issue in 1995, which caused quite an uproar in the local medical community.
Bob was a hard core liberal and passionate about democracy. He volunteered for decades for the Democratic party, tirelessly making get-out-the-vote and fundraising calls. A regular contributor at Brookhaven’s Saturday morning Current Events discussion group, Bob would wrap up every session with light-hearted sports commentary and urge the group members to “hydrate, always hydrate!!”
Bob met Jo Sandman, the love of his life, and they married in 1958. They moved to Concord, MA the next year, where they raised their two children Kamala and Tom. Bob was an avid golfer at the Concord Country Club and passionate about the theater. He acted in many productions from his college years and into his early 90’s. Highlights included starring in The Concord Players’ productions of Kiss Me Kate in 1960, and in The Music Man as Professor Harold Hill in 1976.
Bob communed with people from all walks of life and was deeply curious about what was important to them. As a result, people felt genuinely heard and valued by Bob.
He is fondly remembered by his wife Jo, daughter Kamala, son Tom and wife Kirstin, and grandsons Nivi and Skyler.
Bob was honored and buried on Sunday, Oct 29 at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA.
Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. For Bob’s online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.