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Ski school director and retailer

Passing Date: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Ferdl Aster

Ski school director, retailer, cabinetmaker

Ferdinand "Ferdl" Aster, who founded ski schools and ski shops in the Cleveland area, died January 19, 2016 at ag3 84.

Born in in the ski-resort town of Wagrain, Austria, he apprenticed as a cabinetmaker and became a certified ski instructor. Emigrating to the United States in 1955, he first settled in North Madison, Ohio, and taught skiing at Camp Mystic, Pennsylvania. He founded the Ferdl Aster Ski School in 1961, upon the opening of the Mont Chalet ski area in Chesterland, Ohio, moving later to the new Brandywine ski area. Over the succeeding decades he led ski trips to Austria, won masters races in alpine and cross country, and was a tireless promoter of the sport in Northeast Ohio.

During the summers, Ferdl ran his woodworking shop, building pieces for the Western Reserve Historical Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Symphony and other clients. He built the décor and fixtures for The Ski Haus in Cleveland Heights, and worked there for several years before launching his own ski shop in Chesterland, in 1972.

Survivors are his wife Ruth, son Chris (Bette), son-in-law Keith Wilt, and grandchildren Shannon Wilt, Morgan Wilt, Chloe Aster, and Kyle Aster. Mr. Aster was preceded in death by his daughter Anneliese "Lee" Aster Wilt, his siblings and parents.

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