Jess D. Ashton

6 Feb 1914 - 4 May 1969

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Jess D. Ashton

6 Feb 1914 - 4 May 1969
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On a cold winter night in February, Jess's brothers and sister, Clarence, Leah, and Frank were sent to spend the night with their Grandpa and Grandma Ashton. When they returned home the next day, they were thrilled to find they had a new baby brother. Jess was born at his parent's home, 1700 N 5 E,
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Jess D. Ashton

Born:
Married: 6 May 1939
Died:

Provo City Cemetery

610 S State St
Provo, Utah, Utah
United States
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dfarmer55

June 8, 2011
Photographer

GeneologyHunter

June 8, 2011

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Jess Davis Ashton (6 Feb 1914 - 4 May 1969)

Contributor: dfarmer55 Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

On a cold winter night in February, Jess's brothers and sister, Clarence, Leah, and Frank were sent to spend the night with their Grandpa and Grandma Ashton. When they returned home the next day, they were thrilled to find they had a new baby brother. Jess was born at his parent's home, 1700 N 5 E, Provo, Utah, on February 6, 1914. His parents, John Thomas Ashton (1880 - 1957) and Elnora Davis Ashton (1884 - 1957) had Thadius H. Cluff bless and name Jess on April 6, 1914. He was given the name Jess Davis Ashton. Jess, the fourth of six children, was blessed to grow up in a loving family who nurtured and cared for him. He was loved and appreciated by his parents and brothers and sisters (Clarence, Leah, Frank, Vern and Lenora). His oldest sister, Leah, reported, "He was babied, petted, and spoiled rotten." Jess lived in close proximity to his parents and all his brothers and sisters throughout his life, so they visited and interact often. Jess loved his parents. He was 47 years old when his mother passed away, but he cried like a baby over her casket. When he was just six weeks old, Jess's health was jeopardized by a severe case of whooping cough. He coughed so hard some thought he might not survive. He was sick a long time, but his mother took such good care of him that by spring he had regained his strength. Jess was a beautiful child with pretty, brown curly hair. One of his older cousins, Elpha James, took Jess to a professional photographer and had her picture taken with him because she thought he was the cutest thing she had ever seen. His good looks may have saved him several times when his mischievous inclinations took control. As a young child, Jess had a fascination with water. His parents had a difficult time keeping him out of the canal that ran through their farm. His mother had to pull him out of the canal several times. Once after she had rescued Jess from drowning, his mother took him to the house, put him in a tub of warm water, and dressed him in clean clothes. While she was hanging his wet clothing on the line, Jess got back in the tub of water, clothes and all. One Christmas Santa brought Jess a doll. He over heard his mother mention it had a new bisque head which was unbreakable. Jess later hit the doll's head into the cement porch. It shattered. Jess looked mournfully at the doll and said, "It did too break." Jess's sister Leah called Jess, "a spoiled, bawl baby." One night after he was put to bed, he began to cry. His mother asked Jess what was wrong. He replied, "Nothing, I just like to look at the lights through my tears. They make lightning, stars, and pretty colors." When he was old enough to start school, Jess attended the Page Elementary School, which was located a couple of blocks west of his childhood home on the Provo Canyon Road. Jess learned to read very well, although he was not a great writer. His penmanship left a lot to be desired, and he had difficulty spelling. Nevertheless, his ability to read served him well throughout his life. Jess was a self educated man. He enjoyed reading, and remembered most everything he read. He regularly read the local newspaper, Life magazine and other weekly and monthly publications. He even read the Americana Encyclopedia and Book of Knowledge volumes, which he purchased He learned what he needed to know for his job by reading trade journals and periodicals. A man from Brigham Young University once asked Jess what college he had attended because he was impressed with Jess's knowledge and job expertise. Although Jess never attended a day of college, he did graduate from Lincoln High School on May 5, 1933, and had four children who graduated from college. As a young man Jess attended to his church obligations and responsibilities. He was baptized on June 17, 1923, by Israel L. Muhlestein and confirmed the same day by Sidney H. Cluff Jess was ordained a Deacon on December 4, 1927, by Charles H. Dilled. At this time, he began attending MIA. His sister Leah recorded that on December 7, 1927, "Jess went to the Salt Lake Temple and was baptized for nine people who died before receiving the Gospel." Records indicate that Jess became a Boy Scout in February of 1928. He was ordained a Teacher on December 17, 1929, by A. Ray Ekins; a Priest on May 22, 1932, by T. Earl Foote; and an Elder on March 19, 1933, by Hyrum R. Jones. Jess attended Seminary at Lincoln High School and graduated from Seminary on April 4, 1933. Although Jess did not consistently attend church meetings with his wife and daughters during the early years of his marriage, an incident occurred when his son, was a young boy that changed both his attitude and his actions with regards to church attendance. One Sunday morning, Gary was playing in the living room with his Lincoln Logs when he was told to get ready for Sunday School. G resisted and questioned, "Why do I have to go to church? Dad never goes." At that point Jess put own the newspaper, stood up, extended his hand toward his son and replied, "Well, Gm going toy so let's get ready." From that time forward, Jess regularly attended his church meetings. He served in the Elders Quorum Presidency and the Sunday School Superintendency. He was a Home Teacher and frequently took his family to work on the Stake Farm. However, perhaps more significant is the fact that as Jess's son grew and matured he developed a strong testimony and served in numerous callings of responsibility, as did all of Jess's daughters . The Great Depression of the 1930's was in full swing as Jess approached adulthood. Jobs were difficult to find, so his father took him to Salt Lake City to sign up for army duty. Be it good or bad, the fact was that Jess was one inch too short to qualify for the army. He eventually obtained a job which gave him a deferment. Therefore, he was never called to serve in the military. Throughout his life Jess was a willing and hard worker. He learned how to work on his father's fruit and vegetable farm. As a young boy he grew watermelons to earn money for his school clothes. When he was 17 years old he began traveling to Halfway, Wyoming, with his older brother Frank to harvest hay for a Mr. M. C. Horn. One summer Jess and Frank arrived a week before the hay was ready, so Mr. Horn paid them five dollars each to cut up and stack large logs to use for firewood. The task took them all week, which meant they worked for less than a dollar a day. Jess also worked at Ahlander's, a car repair business. While working there, he was given an old car which he repaired and rebuilt into a truck of sorts. He used the vehicle to peddle fruit and vegetables grown on his father's farm. At one point, Jess obtained temporary employment with Utah Power & Light. The work he did entailed transporting power poles to the mouth of Provo Canyon and was very physical in nature. On August 1 of 1938, Jess began working at Wasatch Chemical for a dollar a day. Jess heard about the job from his oldest brother, Clarence. A strong, young man was needed to do the heavy work for an older man who managed a local branch of the Salt Lake based company out of his home. When Jess began working for Wasatch Chemical, he was pleased to have a full-time, permanent job, but he probably had no idea what the future held for him with Wasatch Chemical. After working in different capacities for several years and transferring for a short time period to Salt Lake City, Jess was promoted to manager of the Wasatch Chemical Orem Branch. He worked as manager of the Orem Branch until he died, which was just over 30 years. His job with Wasatch Chemical was somewhat of a family affair. Shortly after he was hired on at Wasatch Chemical, he became aware they needed someone to do their banking and keep their books. Jess told Afton about the opportunity. She went after the job and was hired. Jess hired his nephews to build the boxes and crates the farmers needed to market their fruit. When the twins were in junior high Jess found they could build boxes as well as the boys, so he put them to work. The girls became quite an attraction. The customers enjoyed watching them nail the boxes together. When he was old enough, Jess's son got in on the warehouse work, as well as the delivery aspect of the business. Jess appreciated and enjoyed his job with Wasatch Chemical. He continually educated himself about the agricultural business by reading and studying journals and trade magazines. He eventually became indispensable to the farmers of Utah County, telling them when and what to spray with and how to fertilize and care for their ground and crops. The Oriental Fruit moth was identified in Utah for the first time at Wasatch Chemical while Jess was manager. John Anderson, president of Wasatch Chemical stated at the time of Jess's death, "He was responsible for the company's growth in Utah County." The farmers and other associates who came and went were more than customers to Jess. They were his friends. The Wasatch Chemical Orem Branch was one of the friendliest and hospitable places in the world, not because of the facilities, but because of Jess. Mr. Andrew Thatcher, a member of the original owner's family said, "He was a fine dependable man. He was reliable, conscientious, honest, and enthusiastic." Jess was never very wealthy, but he always had money because he was extremely frugal and held on to the money he earned. He once lost the amount of a check he carried in his wallet for over two years because the bank foreclosed on the account it was drawn on before he cashed it. When Afton was in high school, Jess had money to buy her a new dress for Christmas. He gave it to her early so she could wear it to her sister, Norma's wedding. Jess seldom borrowed money or went in debt. Two exceptions were to build a home for his family and put his daughters through college. He told Afton, his prospective bride, he would not get married until he had a full-time, permanent job. When he did get married, Jess paid cash for a small red coupe and had $100 for a honeymoon. Jess did not spend money on large ticked items. His only "boy toy" was a wooden boat he used occasionally to go fishing at Strawberry Reservoir. Because he was frugal, saved his money, and did not go in debt, Jess always had money for a movie ticket, a carnival ride, or an ice cream cone. Jess married his childhood sweetheart, Afton Lewis, in the Salt Lake Temple on May 8, 1939. It seemed God had willed these two should be companions. Because their parents were friends and neighbors, Jess and Afton were acquainted in their early childhood. However, it wasn't until Jess was in the eighth grade he asked Afton if he could walk her home from a Halloween party. Afton was thrilled by the invitation, and their life-long romance had its beginning. In her eighth grade autograph book Jess wrote: "Dear Afton, Let not our friendship be as the rose to wither up and die, but as the lasting pine to live forever. Your friend, Jess Ashton Although Jess took Afton to most of their high school dances, each of them had other opportunities for dates and romance, but they always came back to each other. Jess and Afton shared a satisfying and fulfilling marriage. Their love and respect for one another was apparent to all who knew them. They obviously enjoyed each other's company and supported one another's interests and responsibilities. Jess helped Afton with her Relief Society Bazaars and cooking for the family. Afton's secretarial and bookkeeping skills contributed greatly to Jess's professional success. They were both faithful to their marriage vows, and their children never had cause to question their love for one another. A testament to the strength of Jess and Afton's marriage is that each of their four children had happy, successful marriages of their own. This was probably no coincidence. It was perhaps because their children were privileged to witness and be a part of their parent's healthy and rewarding marriage. Jess and Afton were blessed with four children. Their first two daughters were twins. Geniel and Janice were born on February 13, 1942. Margie, another daughter, was born approximately six years later on December 31, 1947; and their only son, Gary, completed the family on December 27, 1953. Someone once said, "The measure of a man is how he takes care of his children." If that is true, Jess was much taller than his short stature might have indicated. Each of his children considered themselves privileged and blessed to call him Dad. Jess and Afton provided for their children's physical, social, and emotional needs. When the twins were young, money for toys was hard to come by so Jess designed, built, and painted a rocking horse, teeter-'totter, slippery-slide, chest, doll cradle, high chair, and playhouse. The role of father came easy to Jess because he enjoyed his association with his children. In her history, Our Story, Anon told how Jess always wanted to go to town with her after the twins were born. He enjoyed showing his children off to all who cared to look. Jess was usually on the front row when Margie performed, and seldom missed one of Gary's baseball games. Jess was proud of his children and enjoyed sharing their successes with his family and friends. His letters to his sister Leah, while on her mission, and his brother Clarence, while in Iran, were full of his children's doings and accomplishments. Jess taught his children by precept and example. The following letter was written by Jess to his daughter Janice when she and Genie! were freshman at Utah State University. It includes a chastisement, an apology, a challenge, a request and an endearing proclamation of love. May 15, 1961 Dear Janice, Just a word to let you know I am still alive. We (Jess and Afton) sure had a nice time down at St. George. I think it did your mother a world of good to get away for a day or two. We kinda thought you would come down yesterday (Mother's Day), but I know it is a long ride for just a few hours. It sure is hard for parents to see their children grow up. I don't think your mother and I ever gave it a thought about that some day you would not be with us. It is sure hard for me to have to face it, but I can see your side of it. I remember when I was your age, although that seems like ages ago. I am sure everything will work out for the best. It always does if we all do what we know is the right thing. I sure hope you can make it home next weekend. Tell Geniel to keep her nose to the grindstone, and you too. Your ever loving father As the above letter portrays, Jess was a genuine person. His attitude toward himself and life was no fuss, no muss, and no flurry. He was never guilty of a pretentious display of hot then cold, and he could be depended on to be the same person today and tomorrow as he was yesterday. Jess was not worried about what others thought. He frequently spread Anon's dark, red lipstick around his mouth in clown fashion before going fishing to discourage a cold sore from developing. He wore Anon's wide brimmed, feather hat at Gary's baseball games to prevent getting sun burned. It didn't bother Jess that people were laughing. He was comfortable with what he did. It is unusual for a person to be born, raised, married, and live their entire life in the same neighborhood. When this situation occurs, the person will either establish bluer, on- going conflicts or a multitude of loyal friends and acquaintances. Jess did the latter. He was a "people person." He liked and associated with people of all ages and backgrounds. People were drawn to him, because he was amiable, friendly, and outgoing. His friends and acquaintances appreciated being around him because of his positive and up-beat attitude. Jess had a great sense of humor, and he liked to laugh. When the doctor informed him Afton had given birth to identical twin girls, he instantly started laughing. He laughed so long and hard the doctor had to calm him before taking him to see his daughters. Few things pleased Jess more than playing a practical joke or trick on someone. When he was still living at home with his parents, he put something in the stove that caused an explosion and sent soot and lids flying in all directions. Years later he almost scared his niece to death when he slipped a cheery bomb under her chair. His sister Leah said, "No one ever felt safe when Jess was around." He was constantly jumping out of a hiding place and scaring some unsuspecting soul. He once sent his son, Gary, into the house to scare his sisters with a dead rat he had killed on the ditch bank. Gary threw the rat at Geniel who was trying on a new dress Anon was making. That trick was one which backfired. Jess and Gary were both in the dog house for quite some time. Sometimes Jess's jokes and tricks were more subtle and less obvious, but just as exasperating. He loved to tease his younger sister by humming the same, simple tune when ever their mother asked her to do something. He occasionally made Anon think he had used her toothbrush by running water over it. Once a customer came into Wasatch, and Jess greeted him by his first name. The customer asked how he knew his name. Jess told a tall- tale about knowing him since he was a youngster. The man left scratching his head. Jess laughed for 30 minutes because he had simply read the man's name on a fishing license the man had pinned on his hat. Jess lived a simple life. He did not need a lot of frills. However, he did enjoy movies and frequently took his family to the Scera Theater in Orem. Jess was partial to musicals. One of his favorite musicals was My Fair Lady. He liked the way Eliza Doolittle's father was portrayed in the movie. Afton said Jess had a good singing voice, but he only sang when friends and family gathered around his folk's player piano or when she played the piano at home. The anticipation of a long or short road trip with a picnic basket and family would put a sparkle in Jess's eyes. He loved driving and observing the scenery, even if it wasn't particularly scenic. Jess often took his wife, children, and parents for a drive on Saturday or Sunday. He would stop at every road-side turnout and monument to take in the sights. He was interested in whatever he saw and wanted to learn all he could about everything. Afton reported in her history that while on their honeymoon to California, Jess stopped at each scenic spot they came upon. He loved the ocean and couldn't get enough of it. Jess loved to travel. He saved $150 each year for a vacation. When the girls were home, they went along. When they were grown and gone, Jess, Afton and Gary vacationed together. While the children were young, many trips were made to Yellowstone and southern Utah. Several trips took the family to California to visit Afton's sister Nedra, and Disneyland. They went to Carson City, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, to visit Afton's youngest sister, Madge. They took the whole family to Canada for a cousin's wedding. After Geniel was married, everyone went to Spokane, Washington, to visit her and Dickson. Jess had an inclination to assign nicknames to those who were close to him. He used the nicknames as a declaration of endearment. Jess frequently referred to Afton as Queeny. Geniel and Janice answered to Twin or Twinkie. Margie's nickname was Pogy, when she was young, and George, as she got older. Gary was tagged Barley Corn or Barley, when he was little, and Joe, as he aged. Gay Lynn, Jess's first grandchild, was known as Petunia. He labeled hls_ helper at Wasatch Chemical lightning, and coined nicknames for his cars. The 1958 Pontiac was Buttermilk and the old gray Chevy was Carl. He even inspired a nickname for himself, Bucket. These nicknames had various origins, but once Jess started with them they stuck. In fact, Jess used the nicknames so consistently that others hearing them often followed his lead. No one objected because the nicknames were used in a positive and friendly manor. On occasion Jess would surprise his family with a streak of spontaneity. Before he was married, Jess and a friend, Max Phillips, decided to take a trip to California They hitch- hiked to Eureka, Utah, jumped a freight train, and rode into Las Vegas, then on to California. After arriving in California, they returned home almost as quickly as they left. Not long after he and Afton were married, Afton's mother mentioned she would like to go to Canada and see where her brother, Eldred Foote, had settled. Jess said, "Let's go." He sold his one seat car, bought a "two-seater", and took Ina, Tom, Madge, Wayne, and Afton to Canada. When his children were young, Jess would frequently come home from work and tell Afton to get the kids ready. He wanted to go to a parade, rodeo, air show or other celebration. To her credit Afton was usually ready and willing to oblige him. These spontaneous events created many pleasant memories for Jess and his family. There was a serious side to Jess's personality. He was capable of keeping a confidence. When he was a young boy, his older brother Frank, told Jess he was going to Idaho with a friend. Frank asked Jess not to tell their parents. This was a difficult secret for Jess to keep, but he did until he was forced to reveal where Frank was because his parents were frantic. When Afton's sister, Nedra, determined she would have to get a divorce, she trusted Jess with her plans and asked him not to tell anyone, which he didn't - not even Afton. Jess was the champion of the underdog. When money wasn't available to buy toys, Jess made Christmas presents for the children of a friend, Cora Pugh, whose husband was serving in World War II. When a neighbor and associate, Mr. Kadar, needed credit at Wasatch, Jess gave him the credit (against company policy) and paid Mr. Kadar's bill out of his own pocket until Mr. Kadar was able to pay. When Afton's cousin, Jenette Foote, needed a sponsor to obtain a visa to move from Canada to Utah, Jess volunteered to be her sponsor. While cheering at Gary's baseball games, Jess would cheer for both teams. If Gary's team had a large lead, Jess would yell, "Take it easy on those guys, Joe." At a USU vs. BYU football game in Provo, Jess rang a cow bell each time a touchdown was scored, be it USU or BYU. The fans for both teams got quite a kick out of that stunt. Jess was ready to help anyone who needed assistance. After his father was disabled with arthritis, Jess carefully and tenderly put him in bed each night. Jess once forced a drunk driver to the side of the rode, drove his car to a safe harbor, and called the man's friend. Jess's son Gary recalled whenever Jess saw a disabled person he would comment, "That's too bad. We should be grateful for our blessings." Jess had malice for none and charity for all. Jess had the ability to stay calm and act wisely in stressful situations. Shortly after Geniel received her driver's license, she had a fender bender in Jess's new Pontiac, Buttermilk. As Geniel waited for her father to arrive at the scene of the accident, she wondered how many years she would be grounded. When Jess arrived, he paned Genie! on the shoulder and declared, "Now you will be the kind of driver I want you to be." No other punishment was administered. After Jess became manager at the Orem Branch of Wasatch Chemical, the officers of the company in Salt Lake directed him to join the Orem Lion's Club. He was not thrilled about the prospect. However, true to his nature he made the best of the situation, and was surprised at how much he appreciated the experience and enjoyed the other members. Just before his death, Jess was awarded a certificate for 20 years of active participation in the Lion's Club and a pin for 10 years of perfect attendance. Jess served as president of the Orem Lion's Club from 1958 - 1959. During his presidency the Club was successful in getting Orem City to appropriate $1000 annually toward building a Lion's Club House at the Canyon Park. Jess supported the Lion's Club by selling brooms for the Club's sight conservation project and taking his wife and children to pancake breakfasts throughout Utah county. He enjoyed attending the Lions Club conventions with Afton and made trips to Vernal, Heber, Logan, St. George, and Cedar City to participate. Jess was a staunch Democrat and followed the political scene through newspapers, magazines, and TV. He was actively engaged with his local Democratic Committee and regularly attended meetings. About a month before President Kennedy was killed, Jess took Afton to Salt Lake to see him. Jess wrote his brother Clarence that he was within ten feet of the President. Jess took it hard when Kennedy was killed and sincerely mourned his death. He thought it was so sad that such a brilliant young man was taken down in the prime of his life. Adding to Jess's enjoyment of political matters was the on going debate between Afton and himself. Afton was a staunch Republican. Fortunately, this difference of opinion about political policies did not cause any serious grief in their married life, just a lot of playful banter. When Jess became ill in 1959, he had difficulty eating and was frequently sick at his stomach. He liked homemade soups, macaroni and cheese, bread and gravy, and homemade bread. Afton was busy with the children, church assignments, and work. She did not always have the time to make the food he preferred, so Jess took up cooking. It was somewhat uncommon for a man to prepare a meal in that day and age, but that didn't stop Jess. After he started to cook, it was not unusual for him" to spend Saturday morning in the kitchen making bread and chicken noodle soup. He made chili, beans and ham, and fresh cucumbers marinated in vinegar and onions. However, his specialty was, macaroni and cheese made from scratch. After a courageous ten year battle to regain his health, which slowly deteriorated after two surgeries and numerous radiation treatments, Jess died from complications of lung cancer on May 4, 1969, at the age of 55 years. Unfortunately, neither Jess nor his family realized the danger he was exposed to daily from the harsh toxic chemicals that were stored within the walls of the Wasatch Chemical warehouse. Jess lived each day he had to the fullest and thanked his Lord for that day. Afton missed Jess until the day she died almost 32 years later on January 23, 2001. Their children are grateful for the lives of their parents and thank them for their love, goodness, and service. While cheering at Gary's baseball games, Jess would cheer for both teams. If Gary's team had a large lead, Jess would yell, "Take it easy on those guys, Joe." At a USU vs. BYU football game in Provo, Jess rang a cow bell each time a touchdown was scored, be it USU or BYU. The fans for both teams got quite a kick out of that stunt. One of his favorite musicals was My Fair Lady. He liked the way Eliza Doolittle's father was portrayed in the movie. Afton said Jess had a good singing voice, but he only sang when friends and family gathered around his folk's player piano or when she played the piano at home. The anticipation of a long or short road trip with a picnic basket and family would put a sparkle in Jess's eyes. He loved driving and observing the scenery, even if it wasn't particularly scenic. Jess often took his wife, children, and parents for a drive on Saturday or Sunday. He would stop at every road-side turnout and monument to take in the sights. He was interested in whatever he saw and wanted to learn all he could about everything. Afton reported in her history that while on their honeymoon to California, Jess stopped at each scenic spot they came upon. He loved the ocean and couldn't get enough of it. Jess loved to travel. He saved $150 each year for a vacation. When the girls were home, they went along. When they were grown and gone, Jess, Afton and Gary vacationed together. While the children were young, many trips were made to Yellowstone and southern Utah. Several trips took the family to California to visit Afton's sister Nedra, and Disneyland. They went to Carson City, Nevada and Lake Tahoe, to visit Afton's youngest sister, Madge. They took the whole family to Canada for a cousin's wedding. After Geniel was married, everyone went to Spokane, Washington, to visit her and Dickson. Jess had an inclination to assign nicknames to those who were close to him. He used the nicknames as a declaration of endearment. Jess frequently referred to Afton as Queeny. Geniel and Janice answered to Twin or Twinkie. Margie's nickname was Pogy, when she was young, and George, as she got older. Gary was tagged Barley Corn or Barley, when he was little, and Joe, as he aged. Gay Lynn, Jess's first grandchild, was known as Petunia. He labeled hls_ helper at Wasatch Chemical lightning, and coined nicknames for his cars. The 1958 Pontiac was Buttermilk and the old gray Chevy was Carl. He even inspired a nickname for himself, Bucket. These nicknames had various origins, but once Jess started with them they stuck. In fact, Jess used the nicknames so consistently that others hearing them often followed his lead. No one objected because the nicknames were used in a positive and friendly manor. On occasion Jess would surprise his family with a streak of spontaneity. Before he was married, Jess and a friend, Max Phillips, decided to take a trip to California They hitch-hiked to Eureka, Utah, jumped a freight train, and rode into Las Vegas, then on to California. After arriving in California, they returned home almost as quickly as they left. Not long after he and Afton were married, Afton's mother mentioned she would like to go to Canada and see where her brother, Eldred Foote, had settled. Jess said, "Let's go." He sold his one seat car, bought a "two-seater", and took Ina, Tom, Madge, Wayne, and Afton to Canada. When his children were young, Jess would frequently come home from work and tell Afton to get the kids ready. He wanted to go to a parade, rodeo, air show or other celebration. To her credit Afton was usually ready and willing to oblige him. These spontaneous events created many pleasant memories for Jess and his family. There was a serious side to Jess's personality. He was capable of keeping a confidence. When he was a young boy, his older brother Frank, told Jess he was going to Idaho. Jess was a staunch Democrat and followed the political scene through newspapers, magazines, and TV. He was actively engaged with his local Democratic Committee and regularly attended meetings. About a month before President Kennedy was killed, Jess took Afton to Salt Lake to see him. Jess wrote his brother Clarence that he was within ten feet of the President. Jess took it hard when Kennedy was killed and sincerely mourned his death.He thought it was so sad that such a brilliant young man was taken down in the prime of his life. Adding to Jess's enjoyment of political matters was the on going debate between Afton and himself. Afton was a staunch Republican. Fortunately, this difference of opinion about political policies did not cause any serious grief in their married life, just a lot of playful banter. When Jess became ill in 1959, he had difficulty eating and was frequently sick at his stomach. He liked homemade soups, macaroni and cheese, bread and gravy, and homemade bread. Afton was busy with the children, church assignments, and work. She did not always have the time to make the food he preferred, so Jess took up cooking. It was somewhat uncommon for a man to prepare a meal in that day and age, but that didn't stop Jess. After he started to cook, it was not unusual for him" to spend Saturday morning in the kitchen making bread and chicken noodle soup. He made chili, beans and ham, and fresh cucumbers marinated in vinegar and onions. However, his specialty was, macaroni and cheese made from scratch. After a courageous ten year battle to regain his health, which slowly deteriorated after two surgeries and numerous radiation treatments, Jess died from complications of lung cancer on May 4, 1969, at the age of 55 years. Unfortunately, neither Jess nor his family realized the danger he was exposed to daily from the harsh toxic chemicals that were stored within the walls of the Wasatch Chemical warehouse. Jess lived each day he had to the fullest and thanked his Lord for that day. Afton missed Jess until the day she died almost 32 years later on January 23, 2001. Their children are grateful for the lives of their parents and thank them for their love, goodness, and service.

Funeral services for Jess D. Ashton, conducted by Bishop Elwood R. Peterson

Contributor: dfarmer55 Created: 9 months ago Updated: 9 months ago

BISHOP ELWOOD R. PETERSON Brothers and Sisters, we are met here in honor of Brother Jess Davis Ashton. And it is an honor and a privilege to pay tribute to him. Brother Ashton is 55 years old, and for 25 years has been manager of Wasatch Chemical Co., Orem Branch. He was the son of Thomas and Elnora Davis Ashton. He married Afton Lewis on May 8, 1939, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. He was active in the Church and served in various positions. Included in these positions was Elders Quorum Presidency of the Pleasant View Ward. At the time of his death he was an active member of the Orem Lions Club. Surviving him are a number of family members including his wife and four children. Our service this afternoon will proceed as it has been outlined on the printed program without further interruption. We begin with the invocation by Brother Clair Accord and then will proceed without further announcement. INVOCATION BY CLAIR ACCORD Our Father in Heaven, we humbly bow our heads today to pay tribute to one of thy sons who has been called home, Brother Jess Ashton. We are appreciative, Father, of the life, the inspiration, and the example of this good man to this community and to the service of his company, to the service of his fellow workers. We are grateful for the example he has been to his family, and we are appreciative of the many opportunities of this group and many others who have had the opportunity of associating with him. Our Father, at this time we ask thee to particularly bless the family, particularly Afton and their children, their brothers and sisters. Bless them that they might have the strength and be bouyed up, that they might have the spirit and faith which they have, and that they may continue to be an inspiration unto the community with whom they serve and their Church. Now our Father, as friends and relatives let us not forget this family at this time, and help us that we may too be able to assist them in their days of sorrow. At this time, Father, we ask thee to bless those that are to participate in this service, that those things that are said will be in accordance with thy mind and will, that thy spirit will guide them and direct them at all times. Now we dedicate this service unto thee. We do so humbly and appreciatively in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. MUSICAL NUMBER Ron Clark sang "I'll Walk With God," accompanied by Mrs. Betty Francis. TRIBUTE BY LARRY OLSEN Jess's Nephew Uncle Jess and I have always been quite close. I don't think that there was anyone who knew him that didn't appreciate being around him. And I am serious because he was a man that gave rather than received. He ignored life's problems as much as possible. as far as I could tell. He did, because I can remember being around him, and he never did talk about his problems or his illness. The last time that I saw him, shortly before he went into the hospital, he had no complaints, although the illness that he did have was quite serious; this is truly an attribute to him. He was a man who attracted others. I'd like to relate a few experiences that I remember that are dear to me. I don't think these experiences, although they are a bit humorous, are inappropriate, because this was Uncle Jess. He had a tremendous sense of humor. Mother mentioned to me last night while I was talking to her that when they were kids there was never a dull moment at home. She related an experience to me where Uncle Jess came in the kitchen and threw something in the big pot-bellied stove and about five minutes later there was a big bang, the piping on the stove broke, and the room was covered with soot. I imagine it was quite an experience for Grandma to clean all this up. Still, this was part of Uncle Jess's life. He liked to play around. He liked good humor. And being his nephews, Paul, Tom, and I all grew up about the same time and played a lot together. I think Uncle Jess played more with us than anyone else in the family. One evening, I think it was Paul who began throwing a ball or something at him as he was going out to milk the cow. Uncle Jess, in playful retaliation, threw the empty milk bucket back at Paul and just missed him by an inck or so. From then on Uncle Jess was known as Uncle Bucket. Tom also had an experience with him hauling hay, but I won't mention that here. I think Tom knows what I'm talking about. Uncle Jess took personal interest in all of us. This is one reason why I hold a choice spot in my heart for him, because I could feel his interest in me as a young boy and also as I grew older. I can remember the twins saying how Uncle Jess had to stop at every monument marker on a road trip. They felt like the trip was being extended beyond what they had planned, but Uncle Jess studied and taught himself all he could. He wanted to know historical facts as well as what was going on in our current world. He and Uncle Clarence worked a lot with the farmers around the area. I imagine there are a lot in the audience now. He knew a lot about spraying, and he was very well versed on when you spray and what kind to use. He was certainly a professional man as far as his professionn was concerned. Early in his life, from what I am told he traveled to California with one of his friends, and there they met people and had quite a few experiences as far as life is concerned. Something typical of Uncle Jess--they were hitching freight cars, and in one of the railroad yards he hopped on one train while his friend hopped on another going in different directions. I wasn't told how they got back together, but this was just part of Uncle Jess. I know it was his sense of humor that attracted me and many others to him. But it was his concern for others that kept us coming back. I had a talk with Uncle Jess just before I went on my mission. He was one of the influential factors in my life and in why I did go on a mission. I appreciate what he did for me as far as the home teaching program is concerned. In closing, mother told me that just before Uncle Jess went to the hospital, he came up to out home. Mom asked how he was doing with quite a bit of concern. He gave her the impression that everything was fine, laughed, and said,"I'll live each day as it comes and be glad I've had that day to live. I think if all of us could take that attitude that we would be much happier in life. President McKay says"Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit reap a character, sow a character, reap an eternal destiny." Uncle Jess has sown those thoughts and those actions. I bare witness of that. And I know as I stand here, as the opening song indicated that he is walking with God. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. SPEAKER--MARDEN BROADBENT It is with the deepest feeling of humility that I approach this honored call at this moment. I feel the burden of this opportunity because I feel that I am representing the friends of near and far away places that would desire this day to make an expression of love and condolences and an expression of faith and goodwill to their brother and friend. And also I speak for our University whom we feel Clarence and Jess adopted many years ago and who guided our activities to such more successful operations than we would have had without their help. So I ask for your sustaining faith and prayers and blessings of the Lord in the things that I would like to say today. We know it is most unusual for a family to be born, raised, married, and live in the same spot in that famous territory between Philips Lane and Hilredge Heights all their life. And for 55 years this is the first and great separation to take place in this great family. You know to live in the same place for a long time you either establish bitter conflicts or a multitude of loyal friends. And these long lines who rallied to the cause and those who are assembled here today and in your homes today from far away places and near and the hundreds of hearts who send out their feelings of condolences to you are evidences of the kind of respect this man and his family have established during this long period of time. My first acquaintance with Jess Ashton and his household was rather an unusual experience. It seems it was many years ago. By what I say you will be able to calculate about when, I was riding with Clarence one day in pursuit of our interest, and we came to a little junction of a one-track dirt road that junctioned at 1250 North and University Ave. Clarence took off through that road and wandered around through those trees and a winding ditch or two that we were quite fortunate to miss. We went up over a hill and down into the bottom. It seemed to me an eternity before we got down there to Jess and Clarence Ashton's homestead. I met Jess and Afton then, a rather pleasant experience because out west of where their house now is was a beautiful crop of berries and industry of all kinds. It struck me that Jess labored where others now play. My life has been touched very deeply, and my home and all those people that I have been able to influence at all have been benefited because of my association with these folks. I have gained much from them--sometimes in a small but very significant way. Afton gave me a very valuable lesson one time when we were discussing some principles of living. When things would get a bit confused and unsettled, I called upon her for a response on this subject, and she said, "I'll pass." You know I've chuckled a hundred times about that bit of philosophy, and it sure has helped me out many times, because this is what it says: Don't count me out, but until somebody knows more than I know at the present time there is no use trying to verbalize it, and so I pass. This is the way that Jess lived. I don't think for a moment he wasn't dedicated to establishing a firm position. It didn't take anybody long to find out that he was definite and unwavering in at least three dimensions of life. (1) Love for his family was an undying devotion. (2) Labor for honest effort far beyond the bare necessities of satisfying his employer. He was much more concerned about satisfying his patrons. And (3) politics. Not even Afton could change his set pattern in this respect. Try as you would, it didn't do any good. You might just as well make up your mind that that was the way it was going to be. And as I reflect upon my learning from Jess and Afton these things come home to me now. They didn't bother to quote chapter and verse in giving reasons for life, they just exemplified the doctrine from the book of life and this is what it says: "I am the same today, tomorrow, and forever. You can depend upon me." And this is what I saw in Jess. He was always the same--no fuss, no muss, no flurry, no isolation, no pretentious display, no hot and then cold. I've never seen Jess when he didn't appear neat and clean and lovable--a smile upon his face, cheerful within, and with an orderly manner. And you know order is the first law of Heaven, and he had learned it well and practiced it personally and professionally. Christ said, "To love thy neighbor is to love God." And Jess truly loved his neighbor--whether he knew them or they were unknown. He held malice toward no one and had love and charity for all. He believed in you and me no matter how old or how young. Jess believed in young people and their ability to do things well if they were given the opportunity. He taught them how to work and to take individual responsibility and to give of yourself that both you and others might prosper together. You know, Jess just sort of epitimizes one of Robert Browning masterpieces. One quotation therein says: "Gods in his Heaven--all's right with the world." And over these 55 years hundreds of people have conscientiously recognized that Jess is on his corner--all's right in this area today. And this is part of Jess's philosophy. He wanted to be where people were, to see them come and go, to share a salutation as they go by. I'm sure many times that the actual

Life timeline of Jess D. Ashton

1914
Jess D. Ashton was born on 6 Feb 1914
Jess D. Ashton was 7 years old when The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women's suffrage in America. The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was adopted on August 18, 1920.
1920
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Jess D. Ashton was 26 years old when Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a German politician, demagogue, and Pan-German revolutionary, who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was central to the Holocaust.
1939
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Jess D. Ashton was 32 years old when World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb "Little Boy" is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
1945
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Jess D. Ashton was 39 years old when Jonas Salk announced the successful test of his polio vaccine on a small group of adults and children (vaccination pictured). Jonas Edward Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. Born in New York City, he attended New York University School of Medicine, later choosing to do medical research instead of becoming a practicing physician. In 1939, after earning his medical degree, Salk began an internship as a physician scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Two years later he was granted a fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he would study flu viruses with his mentor Thomas Francis, Jr.
1953
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Jess D. Ashton died on 4 May 1969 at the age of 55
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for Jess D. Ashton (6 Feb 1914 - 4 May 1969), BillionGraves Record 12941 Provo, Utah, Utah, United States

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