GEORGE BURDETTE ASCHE, 78
LAKELAND - George Burdette Asche, 78, of Lakeland, surrounded by his loving family, passed away on July 15, due to complications from cancer, following a courageous battle.
Born April 29, 1936 to George and Josephine Asche in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Daytona Beach. George graduated from Daytona Beach Junior College and went on to attend The University of Florida where he majored in civil engineering and met his wife, Judy. The couple resided near Ocala where George played a key role in the construction of the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant. He put his stamp on numerous major engineering and road projects across Central Florida throughout his career.
Moving to Lakeland in 1973, the Asches became members of First Presbyterian Church where George served until his death. An avid outdoorsman, he loved fishing, hunting and traveling. George was known for his green thumb, tending a prolific backyard garden and in more recent years, raising orchids. In the kitchen he found joy in canning the vegetables he grew, making jellies, breads and fermented juices. A true renaissance man, George was extremely artistic and loved to draw.
Even after 54 years of marriage, George still opened the car door for his wife. Not only was he a devoted husband, but proud father, never missing his son's sporting events; never missing his daughter's dance recitals.
Loyal to his church, George served in a variety of positions from teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, serving as a Deacon and Elder to Project Manager of a massive expansion project in 2000, among other roles of service. He also volunteered for the Lighthouse Mission, Habitat for Humanity, and numerous other community events.
Known for his quick wit, George was never short of a joke or word of encouragement. Even in his most trying times he still managed to make others laugh; telling nurses on the Oncology floor, through his pain meds, the only reason he was back was because he heard they had missed him.
A fighter, George beat the odds of his long-term illness more than once. Regarded as a man of faith, he indeed remained faithful until his last breath.
George is survived by his wife Judy Asche; daughter Gina Asche of Fort Myers, FL, son Eric Asche and wife Francine Previte Asche of Washington, DC; grandsons George Angelo Asche and Harold Antonio Asche; sister Suzanne Stewart of Fruitland Park, FL; nieces and nephews Douglass, Yvonne and Brian Bennett; brother and sister in law Phillip and Jean McCool.
The memorial service will be Saturday, August 2, 10am, at First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland; nursery provided, reception to follow in the welcome center.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to First Presbyterian's Fine Arts Department.
Thank you to the nurses, doctors and support staff on the 6th floor oncology unit at Lakeland Regional, and Good Shepherd Hospice House for your care and compassion during George's journey.
George was a king among men, his crown awaits him in heaven.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.heathfuneralchapel.com
Heath Funeral Chapel
328 South Ingraham Avenue Lakeland, FL 33801
Published in Ledger from July 30 to July 31, 2014