April 19, 2020
Richard Asch, a passionate pianist, master gardener, and kind-hearted teacher, died on Sunday, April 19th.
To all who knew him, he was a man of tremendous kindness and compassion. He possessed a quick wit and a fantastic sense of humor, and was a true joy to be around, always with a joke or funny story at hand. His passion for his plants, music, and his animals was truly contagious.
Richard started playing the piano at age 4 under the guidance of his parents and continued on to become a talented concert pianist and entertainer. People were literally awestruck whenever he set his fingers upon the keys. Richard appeared on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour Show when he was six to play the piano. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied a paleontologist. He also appeared at the Masonic Temple in Scranton with Skitch Henderson and soloed with the Philharmonic.
Richard was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, went to Central High School, and then attended Wilkes College. He was employed as a music teacher at North Scranton High School from 1969 to 1979, where he was part of the musical/theatre team and was behind all of their fabulous shows throughout that decade. Additionally, he played the piano at the Ryah House at Nichols Village during that time period.
He then moved cross country to Arizona for the next twenty years. He found work in Arizona playing the piano in several establishments, including Bogarts, Gregory’s, Missouri Seven, and La Posada Red Lion.
Richard continued to teach in Arizona and developed a wonderful group of students who he taught piano lessons to in his home studio.
Richard moved back to Scranton in his later years and continued on teaching piano and further developing his gardening skills. He started a small business with his Bodacious Begonias and with the help of his companion, Donna Frushon, put together community concerts for his piano students.
Richard is one of four children born to the late Erwin and Marie Basalyga Asch. He is survived by his brothers, Bruce Asch, North Carolina, and Robert Asch, Florida, his son, Jeffrey Asch, California, daughter Tiffany O’Reilly, Arizona, four grandchildren, and his former wife, Juliana Kovatch Kareus, Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and sister, Judith Asch Jones.
A private graveside funeral service will be held.
To offer an online condolence, please visit www.ScrantonJewishFunerals.com
Arrangements and care provided by Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Directors’, Dunmore.