By Janee Law
It was November 1958 when Hon. W. Gerard “Jerry” Asher, then a senior at the old Huntington High School building, marched with his classmates across Huntington to Oakwood Road for the grand opening of “the new high school.”
“We marched with our floats up to what my generation still calls ‘the new school’,” Asher, now 76 and a state Supreme Court justice based in Riverhead, said.
That moment was one of the most memorable for Asher, a 1959 graduate, four-sport athlete and senior class president.
The memory has stayed strong with Asher, who still lives in Huntington today, and has supported Blue Devils sports both as a fan and with occasional financial contributions toward athletic department initiatives. For that, he will be honored by the Huntington Booster Club next week at its 11th annual dinner.
As a Blue Devil -- on the football, baseball and lacrosse fields as well as the basketball court -- Asher has several other fond memories. He helped the basketball team win a Suffolk championship his junior year, when he served as a point guard, and the football team to a co-championship his senior year, when he was a captain and quarterback.
Asher went on to play both football and lacrosse at Princeton University, where he graduated in 1963. That same year, he married high school sweetheart Sylvia; the couple has two daughters, Gigi and Lara.
Asher continued his education at Cornell University, where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1966.
From there, Asher served in the U.S. Army and spent a year in Korea as a Hawk Missile Battery Commander. For his service, Asher was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. He’s also a lifetime member of the VFW Post 1469 in Huntington Station.
Since his return from the army in 1969, Asher has supported Huntington sports in any way he can. “I am a believer in high school sports," he said. "They’re beneficial for all students, teaching discipline, teamwork, hard work, practice and all those kinds of values for life.”
He wants to see Huntington’s athletic programs thrive. And thrive they have.
“Historically, we’ve had very good coaches that have been terrific role models for the students,” Asher said. “I’ve seen many of the boys and girls that have played on these teams over the years become adults and come back to Huntington and are contributing members of the community.”
After learning that he will be honored for his enduring support of all Blue Devils sports, Asher said he feels humbled and honored. The Oct. 19 dinner will be held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury at 7 p.m. Additional information is available at Huntingtonboosterclub.com.
Outside of sports, Asher was a lawyer for 32 years and has been substantially involved in the Huntington community over the years. He’s run in the Great Cow Harbor 10K Run each year since its inception 40 years ago; and held leadership roles that include Kiwanis Club president, member of the Huntington Chamber of Commerce board of directors and 17-year member of the Huntington Planning Board.
Asher was first elected as a judge in January 2005, and elected a Supreme Court judge in November 2010. He plans to retire at the end of this year.