Charles R. Ashton
Charles R. "Charlie" Ashton, 90, former commissioner and president of the Zion, IL, Park District, died peacefully in his home on Monday, October 19, 2009.
Charlie was born May 10, 1919, in Zion and lived in the city nearly all of his life, except for his extensive military service. He was retired from the United States Coast Guard and also served in the United States Navy during World War II.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Marjorie Robbins Ashton.
A talented athlete, Charlie played minor league baseball in the New York Yankees organization and went on to play second base for the U.S. Coast Guard team based in Atlantic City, N.J., during the first half of World War II. He played softball well into his 60s, long dominated the annual Zion Park District tennis tournaments, and in his retirement, passionately loved golf. As a Zion Park District commissioner and president for 14 years, he was instrumental in developing a number of recreational facilities for the community, including the Shiloh Park Golf Course. After retiring from the Coast Guard in 1956, Charlie spent most of his working life as a manager at Zion Industries' drapery business, though he also worked for the Zion City Clerk for several years. In his early 50s, he left the "Curtain Factory," as it was called, and for several years worked at both American Motors Cop. in Kenosha and the Zion Post Office, where he became "Timekeeper," in charge of payroll and personnel records as well as vehicles and facilities maintenance. Many Zion residents remember him as the man who painted the post office boxes. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service in the early '80's.
Survivors include five sons, Robin (Jan), of Evanston, IL, Jeffrey (Diane) of Litchfield Park, AZ, Kent of Zion, IL, Cary (Sharon) of Downers Grove, IL, and Dean (Lori) of Beach Park, IL; six grandsons; three granddaughters; sister, Frances Shumaker of Frederick, MD; and two sisters-in-law, Evelyn Robbins Davis of Zion, IL, and Catherine Robbins Bird of Springfield, VA.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred J Ashton Sr. and Abbie Bywater Ashton; three brothers, Alfred J. Ashton Jr., Daniel C. Ashton Sr., and George E. Ashton; and a sister, Elizabeth Taylor.
A Memorial Service will held on Friday, October 23, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at Christ Community Church, 2500 Dowie Memorial Dr., Zion. Memorial donations are suggested to the Zion-Benton Public Library District, 2400 Gabriel Ave., Zion, IL 60099 or the Memorial United Methodist Church, 2935 Sheridan Rd., Zion, IL 60099 A private interment service will be held at Lake Mound Cemetery, Zion.
Please sign the online guest book at www.congdonfuneralhome.com.
For further information or clarification, contact Robin Aahton at 847-910-5163 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in News Sun from Oct. 21 to Oct. 22, 2009