Ascher Katz passed away March 22 of complications from Parkinson’s disease, before his 92nd birthday. He was born in the Bronx on April 16, 1927, to Tessie and Morris Katz, immigrants from Moldova, formerly Czarist Russia.
He graduated from Townsend Harris High School and, at age 15, attended City College of New York as an engineering student where he was elected president of the student council and was active in field and track. He enlisted in the United States Navy three days before his 18th birthday, and before being deployed at sea, he was stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi. When he was on leave, his family said he loved to roller skate and learned how to jump and dance in the rink. He was honorably discharged after WWII.
Just after returning to college, at age 20, he suffered a near fatal stroke completely paralyzing the right side of his body. He made a remarkable but incomplete recovery. He graduated from City College of New York with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1948 and from Harvard Law School with an LLB in 1951. He started his career with the New York City Legal Aid Society and then New York City Corporation Counsel’s Office. He later became a partner at Katz and Klein, Esqs.
Mr. Katz lived in Greenburgh since the 1960s and on East Hartsdale Avenue for the past 16 years. He served as a Greenburgh Town Court judge for 23 years. His family said a great part of his life was devoted to the Democratic Party and its ideals, and he served as a district leader in Hartsdale until the age of 91. He also was a Temple Israel Center trustee and president of its religious school.
Mr. Katz’s wife Barbara was the love of his life, family members said, and they celebrated almost 51 years of marriage together. They also said he loved to paint, sing, garden, attend art exhibits and eat, and he found great joy in the Kabbalah Center and its members.
His family said he delighted and inspired them with his loving, sweet, open-eyed smile and boundless energy, despite his many physical and medical challenges, and he was a man of great determination, creativity and love for his family and friends.
Mr. Katz was predeceased by his wife Barbara, his brother Sidney (Eileen) and his sister Lora. Surviving him are his daughters Arlene Katz Spitzer (Jeffrey), Beverly Gilbert (Thomas) and Rochelle Katz, and his grandchildren Jacob, Matthew and Hannah.
Donations in memory of Ascher Katz may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, STRIDE Adaptive Sports (STRIDE.org) or UJA-Federation.