Shrdlu Ashe, 65, a popular musician with a large local following, died March 27 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Born Michael Elliott Ashe on Aug. 29, 1947, in Norwalk to Edmund A. ("Edd") Ashe Jr. and Beatrice ("Beacie") Bishop, he grew up in New Milford and attended local schools.

He got his stage name from a comic strip character invented by his father, an artist.

He played with many local bands, including New York Chalk, Brother Jump, the K-Man Band, the New Milford United Methodist Church band, the Shrdlu Band and most recently Flightwave. He sang, wrote songs, and played harmonica, guitar, fiddle and Asian instruments.

He studied classical harmonica with Robert Bonfiglio at the Manhattan School of Music and gave lessons at the New Milford Music Center.

He offered musical programs at schools and community centers and was a well-known feature at the New Milford farmers market.

In addition to his musical career, Ashe acted as land manager at New Milford's Pratt Center and was a co-founder of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School.

He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army from 1967-68 as a truck mechanic at the Cam Ranh Bay military base. He realized a long-held dream when he visited Vietnam in 2009, and moved to Ho Chi Minh City the next year.

Ashe is survived by his wife, Chi Ha; a son, Elliott Ashe; a brother, Edmund Ashe III, and his wife, Nancy Plante Ashe, of St. Augustine, Fla.; four nieces and his ex-wife, Melissa Merkling.

A celebration of his life is planned for the warmer months.

Memorials may be made to Heifer International at www.heifer.org, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic at www.neworleansmusiciansclinic.org or Healing the Children at www.healingthechildren.org.