Cover photo for Gloria Asher's Obituary
Gloria Asher Profile Photo

Gloria Asher

Gloria Asher passed away on December 27, 2020, the day after her 92nd birthday, at Goodwin House in Falls Church, Virginia. Gloria was born on December 26, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, to Harold and Mary (Delevitt) Asher, a dentist and a homemaker. She had rheumatic fever as a child and spent a year in bed, during which time her father would walk home from his office every day to have lunch with her. Gloria attended Roosevelt University where she met her first husband, Leslie Silverman. After graduation, the couple moved to New York City to attend graduate school, where Gloria worked for a literary agent and once met Ogden Nash. The couple lived in Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Georgia before settling in Arlington, Virginia, where they raised their three daughters, Beth, Amy, and Sara. In addition to earning Master’s degrees in Education and Economics, Gloria was active in the civil rights movement, working with the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.), attending historic events such as the 1963 March on Washington, and even spending a night in jail in 1964 for participating in a “sit-in” to force the racial integration of Arlington Hospital. She volunteered with the League of Women Voters and expressed her commitment to social justice in many other ways. She instilled in her children both a passion for social justice and a lifelong love of music and nature.

Gloria was a passionate student of spiritual wisdom and personal growth who followed the Arica School founded by Bolivian philosopher Oscar Ichazo for many years, and for a time lived in a community of fellow seekers. Later, she found the est training and the Forum to be life-changing. She was a founding member of a women’s mutual support group that met regularly for decades, and remained a beloved member of the group – its eldest, and an inspiration to the others – until her death.

After a divorce, Gloria worked for many years leading the training departments for Erol’s Video and later for NS&T Bank. In 1997, she met her beloved companion Kris Sarma, an engineering professor with grown children of his own. Together, they traveled extensively, entertained, and were part of a close-knit community of friends that lived at the Watergate apartments in Alexandria. In her retirement, Gloria taught English as a Second Language to immigrants keen to improve their fluency. She remained close with many of her ESL students.

Gloria played the piano and loved both classical and folk music, her book club, and her gardens. She and Kris attended classical music concerts at the Lyceum in Alexandria. She also loved walking at Green Spring Gardens in Fairfax County with Kris and her friends and family.

Gloria adored her grandchildren, Carsie and Elijah Blanton, and formed close, loving relationships with Kris’s sons Butch, Coke, and Esh and their families, as well as with her stepgrandchildren.

Gloria was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Charles Asher, and her first husband Leslie Silverman. She is survived by her daughters Beth (Ray), Amy (Brian), and Sara, their children and grandchildren, her longtime companion Kris Sarma and Kris’s children and grandchildren, her niece Betsy Asher Hall, and her nephews Marc and Robert Asher.

Gloria was a force of nature who will be dearly missed by her family and by her countless friends who adored her and were inspired by her vitality, her warmth, her passion for social justice, and her adventurous spirit.

A Zoom memorial service will be held on Monday, February 22, at 1:00 pm ET. For an invitation to the service, please contact In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a
donation to Green Spring gardens ( or the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association ( to support the classical music concerts at the Lyceum that Gloria and Kris loved.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gloria Asher, please visit our flower store.


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