John L. Asher Jr., former co-chairman of Souderton, Pa.-based Asher’s Chocolates, has passed away. He was 83.
John Jr. — known as Jack to friends and employees — was born March 3, 1934 in Philadelphia, Pa., according to the National Confectionery Sales Association (NCSA). At age 12, he began working at Asher’s Chocolates, which was founded in 1892 by Jack’s grandfather, Chester A. Asher. Jack married his wife, Carolyn, in 1954 and began working full time in manufacturing for the company.
Jack took over Asher’s with his brother, Bob, after their father passed away in 1968. They expanded the business into Pennsylvania’s Germantown area. In 1991, Jack acquired Goss Candy Co. in Lewistown, Pa., and renamed it Asher’s Chocolates/Lewistown.
He handled production while Bob oversaw sales and finance. Through devotion to quality and customer service, the company — which produces a variety of chocolate items, including award-winning chocolate-covered pretzels — flourished.
In 1988, Jack received the Small Business Person of the Year award from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. He was inducted into the NCSA’s Candy Hall of Fame in 2006. Jack retired in April. Jeffrey Asher, the family’s fourth generation, is at the company’s helm.
Jack and Carolyn raised three children, John III, David and Susan. Jack enjoyed serving his church and was a strong supporter of continuing education. He also served as a volunteer firefighter and helped direct re-enactments of the Battle of Germantown.
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, 35 W. Chelten Ave., Philadelphia, Pa.