Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Dee Asher, wife of the late John Asher, second from left, poses for a photo next to her husband's memorial highway sign alongside daughters Emma Asher, far left, Heather Singleton, second from right, and Erin Asher.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Dee Asher, wife of the late John Asher, second from left, poses for a photo next to her husband's memorial highway sign alongside daughters Emma Asher, far left, Heather Singleton, second from right, and Erin Asher.

The state of Kentucky, Grayson County, and city of Leitchfield honored the late John Asher, a Grayson County native and Churchill Downs' longtime vice president of racing communications, on Tuesday with the official unveiling ceremony for the newly named John Stephen Asher Memorial Highway.

Held Tuesday morning at the K105 radio station on Brandenburg Road in Leitchfield where Asher began his broadcasting career at sister station WMTL, the unveiling ceremony was hosted by Misty Thomas, an in-law of Asher's who also developed a love of broadcasting through her career at K105.

After Thomas provided the welcome and invocation, John Asher's brother Tim took the podium to thank the city of Leitchfield, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Churchill Downs, and the city of Louisville, Kentucky for their efforts to honor his brother and his accomplishments, as well as to commend everyone who had served as a mentor to his brother during his life.

Tim Asher said his brother described working at WMTL as the defining moment of his life, which led him to study journalism at Western Kentucky University and later to an acclaimed broadcasting career that culminated with his role at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where he "became an icon of the thoroughbred racing industry."

Tim Asher also said his brother's greatness will continue through his wife and greatest mentor, Dee, and his children.

Next, Leitchfield Mayor Rick Embry stood to speak on his respect and admiration for John Asher and his devotion to the community in which he grew up.

Embry said that many who become successful forget about where they came from, but John Asher did not, noting his return to Leitchfield in recent years to speak on behalf of the Boy Scouts and to help garner support for that organization.

Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson also spoke on Tuesday, sharing his experience meeting John Asher while on Kentucky Derby detail as a Kentucky State Trooper, as well as how fitting it is that Asher's career, which began in Leitchfield and ended in Louisville, Kentucky, is being commemorated through the John Stephen Asher Memorial Highway in Leitchfield and a memorial at Churchill Downs.

"John has done so much for this community," Henderson said.

State Rep. Tim Moore, who assisted with having the roadway renamed the John Stephen Asher Memorial Highway, was unable to attend Tuesday's ceremony in person but sent his remarks, which were read by Thomas.

Moore said John Asher has been deservedly eulogized as an ambassador of Kentucky and the soul of the Kentucky Derby.

Before unveiling the official John Stephen Asher Memorial Highway sign, Thomas closed the remarks by describing John Asher as "a great man and a son of Grayson County who we will forever mourn."

The John Stephen Asher Memorial Highway consists of Kentucky Route 259 in Grayson County, from the intersection with Kentucky Route 3155, to the Breckinridge County line.