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Remembering Mr. Ashton

posted Apr 30, 2018, 9:54 AM by Katie Groke Ellis   [ updated May 2, 2018, 12:36 PM ]
Ralph William (Bill) Ashton died peacefully at home on April 18, 2018. Bill was born in
Arvada, Colorado, on May 6, 1929. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph E.
and Helen Ashton, sister, Marie Lykou, and brother, Robert Ashton.
Bill is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis (Salvador) Ashton, daughters, Tammy
Yonkie (Dave), and Vicki Wolf (Eric) and grandchildren, Dawn Yonkie, Ashton and Eric
Wolf, and Tori Wolf-Templeton (Andrew), sister-in- law, Leona Hunt, brother-in- law, Paul
Salvador (Joan), and numerous nieces and nephews.

After graduating from Arvada High School in 1947, and CU Boulder in 1951, Bill started
his career as a high school science teacher in the small towns of Sedgwick and Haxtun,
Colorado. After a short stint in Coronado, California, Bill finally settled in Jefferson
County in 1960, where he taught at Jefferson High School for three years. He then
helped open Arvada West in 1963 and spent 23 of his 32 year teaching career there.
While at Arvada West, he chartered the Honor Society and the Arvada West Interact
Club, a club that initiated the Arvada Alive CPR training. In 1987, Bill received both the
Arvada West Area Distinguished Teacher and Colorado Educator for Jefferson County
awards. In 2015, Bill was inducted into the Arvada West High School Foundation Hall of
Fame in recognition of his contributions to the school and community.

Outside of teaching, Bill was a very involved member of his community. Bill was a
member of Arvada Rotary from 1974-2000, serving as president from 1983-1984. He
was on the Jeffco Credit Union Board from 1970-1990, and chairman during
construction of the 355 Union Building.

A longtime advocate of Olde Town Arvada, Bill was a charter member of the Arvada
Historical Society, serving as president from 1995-1997, and chairman for the Arvada
Flour Mill Annex Project. He served on committees for the Olde Town Walking Tour,
Olde Town Historic Districts, McIlvoy Park and Pavilion, the Gold Strike Park Master
Plan, the McIlvoy House Restoration, and the Forward Arvada Building Corporation. He
was treasurer of the Pro Arvada Committee in 1991 and pushed for the expansion of
the Arvada Center, City Hall, and Ralston Road to Sheridan. Bill was recognized by the
Arvada Chamber of Commerce as Man of the Year in 1994, and is named in Profiles of
Arvada for the First 100 Years published in 2004.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, April 24 th , at 11:00 AM at Arvada United
Methodist Church located at 6750 Carr Street, Arvada, Colorado. In lieu of flowers,
contributions can be made to the Arvada Historical Society, 7307 Grandview Ave.,
Arvada, CO 80002, the Arvada West High School Foundation for the Bill Ashton
Science Scholarship, P.O. Box 1677, Arvada, CO 80001-1677, or the Arvada Rotary
Foundation, P.O. Box 171, Arvada, CO 80001.

Donations to the Mr. Ashton Science Scholarship can be made here.
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