Milton Asher was called to his home in heaven May 21, 2019.
Milt was born on January 4, 1945, to Ida Patricia Jones and Buford Leroy Asher in Portland, Oregon. At age 5 he moved to WA County and joined his father making music for a radio program.
In grade 6 he saw a classmate playing guitar and attracting girls. He told his father (who played guitar and fiddle) that he HAD to learn to play guitar! He never read music but “played by ear” many genres: country, 50s rock, jazz, classical, sacred, contemporary Christian, easy listening, and show tunes. From Bach to Bill Monroe!
He graduated in 1963 from Forest Grove High School and then attended Oregon College of Education. He joined the marines serving 3 years (1 in Vietnam) to come out as sergeant E-5. Agent Orange gave him heart problems, dementia, seizures, Parkinson’s, etc.
Returning to Forest Grove he sold insurance. With all the Dutch gals in the area, he got his honey from Minnesota while she was teaching in the Forest Grove Schools. He married Nadine Vanderau in 1971. Because of Milt’s love of music, they chose a special name meaning “song” for their girl “Sheera” in 1976.
With GI benefits he returned to college and graduated in 1978 from Portland State with a degree in Business Administration. He began working for North-West Insurance Company in Portland as a reinsurance accountant. Years later he moved to Chicago, as Assistant Controller for Reinsurance Agency. With a chance to move to Anchorage, he was a field auditor.
When he studied for federal insurance exams, he passed on his first try for each designation: 1985 APA (Associate in Premium Audit), 1988 CPCU (Charter, Property, and Casualty Underwriters), 1989 ASLI (Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance). When the moved to Spokane, he worked for his own company until he retired.
He had an enormous vocabulary and liked crossword puzzles. He enjoyed family, friends, fishing, hunting, and community theater. When he got venison or moose, he learned to butcher it for the freezer with Nadine’s help. He became “papa” to three grands: Faith, Patience, Trinity and encouraged each to join him in making music. He was part of a band, “Bluegrass Conspiracy,” playing for various gigs. Another of his bands played annually on the same corner for Bloomsday races. Always ready to fish or hunt, his passion was music.
He joined the Inland Northwest Bluegrass Music Association and became the treasurer for them and for Blue-Waters Bluegrass Festival. He learned to play guitar, 12 string guitar, bass guitar, classical guitar, ukulele, mandolin, and harmonicas.
His parents, grandparents, daughter Sheera, and brother Billy Joe preceded him in death. He is survived by wife Nadine, three grands: Faith, Patience, Trinity, sister Cathy, brother Ken, cousins, friends and many musician friends. Now he can join others making music for Jesus.
Memorial services will be held at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 North Government Way, Spokane, WA 99224, on May 31, 2019, at 3:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, consider donating in Milt’s name to Habitat for Humanity of Spokane, or Hospice of Spokane.
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