Absher, Carl Price
Carl Price Absher, 72, passed away on September 23, 2023, at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, where his final days were spent surrounded by close family following a tough and heroic fight against cancer.
Carl was born February 19, 1951, to Virginia and John Creed Absher in Blacksburg, VA; he was the fifth of their seven children. Carl was a 1969 graduate of Blacksburg High School, and later graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry in 1974. While still in college, Carl met the love of his life, Rebecca Suzanne Bundy (Becky). They married in 1973, had two children, and just celebrated their 50th anniversary earlier this year. Carl was an arborist and a naturalist for decades in both Virginia and Tennessee. Carl was the International Society of Arboriculture’s first Board Certified Master Arborist in the state of Tennessee, and the president of the ISA Southern Chapter in 2007. After retiring from the vegetation management department of a utility company in Chattanooga, TN, Carl went on to run his own private tree company in the area for several more years. At the age of 69, Carl seized the opportunity to do something that very few people get to do: he climbed to the top of an old growth Giant Sequoia tree in Eastern California. The tree was then named “Wisdom” after him.
Near his retirement, Carl and his wife purchased and renovated the Absher family homeplace on the outskirts of Blacksburg, VA, so they could return to live in Carl’s hometown. After he retired, Carl continued to avidly pursue many interests and hobbies; he loved to be outdoors, and enjoyed hiking, fishing, kayaking, hunting, and riding motorcycles to name just a few. Carl was passionate about American Chestnut tree restoration, and he managed multiple plots of hybrid chestnuts in an effort to restore a nearly extinct population in Virginia. He could often be found spending his free time volunteering with the American Chestnut Foundation, the Virginia Native Plant Society, and the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, John Creed Absher, Sr. and Virginia Elizabeth Price Absher, his sister Virginia Lynn Barker, and his brother Charles Dean Absher. Carl is survived by his wife Becky, daughter Amanda (Colin White), son B.J., and grandsons Jameson and Lucas. He is also survived by two sisters: Hope Machemehl and Bonnie Widner, two brothers: J.C. Absher and Richard Absher, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
Carl Absher’s legacy will live on through his work, his values, and especially through his family. The family will host a Celebration of Life for Carl on October 7, 2023, at the family residence in Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you spend some time in nature with your loved ones in his honor, or make a donation to the American Chestnut Foundation (https://support.tacf.org/donate/tributes) or the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org/donate/memorial-giving.html) in his memory.