Long-time Champion of Catholic Education Worked to Broaden Its Impact on Poor and Underserved Families

LOUISVILLE, KY (August 28, 2018) – The Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville and its Board of Directors today expressed their deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. John S. Asher following his sudden passing during a family trip in Florida.

In the early part of his storied career, John was an accomplished journalist for many years. Then, in 1997, he joined the Churchill Downs as the organization’s primary spokesman and Vice President of Racing Communications, quickly becoming the face of the enterprise and the best-recognized promoter of the legendary Kentucky Derby held on the first Saturday in May at the historic track in Louisville.

John’s lifelong love of Catholic education spurred him to actively pursue his passion in the Louisville community. In 2004, he began a six-year term as a Board member of the Catholic Education Foundation. For over ten years, he lent his many talents to the organization’s growth by taking a leading role at the Foundation’s annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni dinner event, now the largest fundraiser of its kind in the Commonwealth.

In 2008, the Foundation launched a second major fundraising event celebrating the nationally recognized Saint Xavier/Trinity high school football rivalry, the Salute to THE GAME luncheon. Each year, John joyfully served as the event’s master of ceremonies, propelling the luncheon to one of the most successful events across Kentucky.

Among the numerous honors he earned over his lifetime, John Asher received the distinguished Community Service Award from the Catholic Education Foundation at its Salute to Catholic School Alumni dinner in 2015.

The Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D. D., Archbishop of Louisville, reflected on John’s many contributions to the community. “Since my first days in Louisville, I have always been amazed by John’s never-ending gift of giving to others who struggle in their daily lives. His great legacy in this community will go far beyond his many career accomplishments and we will always remember him, at his core, as a man of deep faith who loved his family and tirelessly sought to do well for others. May God bless him and his family as we give thanks for our dear friend.”

Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “I was blessed to have known John for 25 years in the Louisville community. His singular style, huge heart and big smile have always inspired me to try to do more, to be better. During his long association with the Catholic Education Foundation, he became the face of this organization in much the same way as he did at Churchill Downs. And he did every bit of it solely for the benefit of all our Catholic school kids whom we support each day. I love John Asher, and I know that he will lead us forward in our work from his new-found home in heaven.”