Larry Jed Ashton passed away peacefully in his home on February 17, 2018. His strong spirit left his earthly body behind, but he took his creative and innovative mind with him. He was born on December 23, 1931 in Salt Lake City to Jed and Leone Ashton. He grew up in Salt Lake City and graduated from East High School in 1949. His father owned a heating and air-conditioning business and working together helped him develop an appreciation for engineering and all things mechanical. After graduating from the University of Utah in 1955 with a degree in mechanical engineering, he began a remarkable career in aerospace that he would love for the rest of his life.
Larry leaves an impressive list of family and friends who claim that his leadership and example gave them a pathway and the motivation to find their own careers in a variety of hi-tech and engineering businesses. His personal contribution and successes involve significant advances in the development of materials and processes in the evolution of filament wound carbon fiber structures for aerospace applications. His innovations in this area are gradually revolutionizing the aerospace industry, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Larry did early work on such important projects as ram jet engines, early rockets, rocket motor cases and primary and secondary aircraft structures. He did all of this through the creation of several companies along the way. At each new business, opportunities were created for his own family members and a myriad of others to build their own pathways and career choices. He was the recipient of multiple awards of recognition from his peers in the aerospace and composite industries where he was well known and highly respected. The most recent is SAMPE’s George Lubin Award which was just announced this past week and will be given posthumously.
Larry was proudest of his family legacy. He married Teddy Hunter in 1951 and had six children, all raised in Salt Lake City. They later divorced and he married Joan Parcell in 1966; together they had three children who were raised in Long Beach, California, and Mapleton, Utah. Family vacations were an important tradition to bring the families together and make lasting memories. Larry’s favorite places were Newport Beach, California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Hawaii, and the family cabin in Woodland, Utah. The family continues to enjoy all of these traditions, for which we are forever grateful.
He had many hobbies, usually centered around something he could design and build himself. He was an excellent wood worker and had a wonderful workshop in his Mapleton home where he produced amazing projects. His talents in designing and building eventually resulted in the construction of The Cabin in Woodland, a place where many great family memories have been made.
Larry continually found problems to solve, ways to serve, and love to give. He had a strong commitment to the restored gospel which was sincere and unshakable. He served with distinction and honor wherever and whenever he was called. One of his greatest attributes was the gift of charity--he was always willing to help others regardless of the personal expense.
Larry is survived by his nine children: Todd (Guiselle) Springville, Becky Adams (Don) Loa, Mindy Salt (Roger) Erda, Clint (Nellie) Mt. Pleasant, Bret (Kelly) Gunnison, Cammy Adair (Jeff) Nibley, David (Kami) Springville, Lori Ross (Mike) Salt Lake City, and Lindsay (Springville). His posterity includes 49 grandchildren, 65 great-grandchildren and he was dearly loved by numerous nephews, nieces, and in-laws. He is preceded in death by his wife, Joan Ashton, parents Jed and Leone Ashton, his brother Mark Ashton, his sisters Barbara Fickinger and Bonnie Dibble, daughter-in-law, Michelle Ashton, and granddaughter Heidi Ashton. Larry’s family would like to express deep appreciation to Symbii hospice nurses Corrie and Rebecca who gave him months of tender and loving care.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm at the LDS chapel, 878 West Center Street, Springville, Utah. The viewing will be Friday evening from 6 to 8 pm at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 East 200 South in Springville and Saturday at the church one hour prior to the services. Interment will be in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. Condolences may be sent at www.wheelermortuaries.com.