Obituary of Peter Samuel Ascherl
Peter (“Pierre”) Samuel Ascherl (LL.B) June 7 1953 - June 5 2022
After a 10 month struggle with pancreatic cancer, Peter passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home in the Annex in Toronto surrounded by his loving spouse, Catherine Desjardins and children, Pierre-Christof and Bianca.
Born in London, England, Peter moved to Canada in 1954 at the age of one with his mother, Anna Maria Ascherl of Germany. He grew up in Kitchener where he went to Notre Dame Grade School and St. Jeromes High School. In his youth, Peter excelled in sports - football, tennis, swimming and of course hockey. He attended Hamilton College in New York State on a hockey scholarship before completing his BA at the University of Waterloo and his law degree at Osgoode Hall.
Prior to commencing his legal career, Peter played six years (1978-1984) of professional hockey in the German first division, mainly in Mannheim (close to Frankfurt) but also in Cologne and Dusseldorf. One of the proudest moments of his hockey career was winning the league championship in 1980 (“Bundesmeister”) while playing with Mannheim.
Peter’s hockey experience in Germany was captured well by a popular German hockey publication, Eishockey Magazine, which featured him on the cover of one edition: “When Ascherl drives for the net, whirls and scores a goal for the Mannheim team, the fans greet their hero with deafening cries of “ALI - ALI - ALI”. When asked to comment by his local hometown newspaper, the Kitchener Waterloo Record, Peter responded in his typical unassuming manner, “I’m not going anywhere in hockey, but it’s an easy lifestyle for me.”
Peter’s love of the game continued throughout his life and he played two to three times a week at UCC with friends and colleagues whom he met along his journey. He was still playing into 2022, well after his treatments had begun.
While in Germany, Peter studied German law at the University of Heidelberg and became fluent in German. All of these skills - in addition to those developed on the ice - would serve him well for his second professional career, in the law.
In 1986, Peter was called to the Ontario Bar and joined the law firm Campbell Godfrey and Lewtas (now Fasken). At Fasken, he built a highly successful career in corporate law serving many domestic and international clients, including several German clients. He worked predominantly in the energy sector and in particular with wind farm projects across Canada.
Peter was honoured as a trailblazer by the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers in 2010 as one of the first Black partners on Bay Street. His expertise was recognized through a range of rankings, perhaps most notably as an Acritas Star, a recognition that comes solely from independent client feedback. One of Peter’s partners aptly described him as follows, “He brought creative ideas, a sense of humour and tremendous client skills with him, but most of all an indelible spirit of what it means to be a truly good human being.” According to Martin Denyes, Fasken Managing Partner for the Ontario Region, Peter was “quite simply, a tremendous person and a tremendous lawyer. “
Peter aways lived life boldly and to the fullest, realizing his potential in every area of his life without complaints or regrets. While an avid traveller, skier and golfer, Peter was most happy when surrounded by family and friends and he especially loved being with loved ones at his refuge “Lake Pierre”.
Peter will be remembered and missed by all those he has charmed, impressed and inspired over his incredible life. The grace, stoicism, dignity and optimism he demonstrated in his last months have been remarkable. His legacy will be felt for generations to come.
The family would like to thank everyone for the love, support and expressions of sympathy and compassion received during this difficult time and in particular to thank the doctors and nurses at Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care and the Oncology Team at the GI Clinic in Princess Margaret Hospital for the excellent care provided to Peter.
The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville) from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 12th. The funeral service will take place in the Chapel on Monday, June 13th at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care (www.tlcpc.org 416-586-8203). Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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