Gary Ashton dies at 79
–Atascadero resident Gary Ashton, a majestic oak combined with a giant sequoia has fallen. Gary Elton Ashton has gone home to be with the lord on April 19.
Dad/Grandpa/Papa Smurf/Pops/Gary lived a very full 79 years and has touched many lives. He is survived by his sons Marvin, Greg, Paul, Preston and his daughter Tiphanie. They have given him the ability to know and love his grandchildren: Meghan, James, Brandy, Chrissy, Tala, Wyatt, Gunner, Summer and Conner. Those grandchildren have given him six great-grandchildren to date.
Born to Ruby Irene Thorson and Orla Elton Johnston in Buena Park, California, he moved to Atascadero at a very young age. After graduating Atascadero High School, he served 3 plus years in the Navy Sea Bees. As a heavy equipment operator, the passion never left his blood.
Ashton was a corner stone to many dirt moving projects around the county (including Highway 46 and 101) while working for Alex Madonna. Later starting his family excavation business. He and friends built the Templeton Park Band Stand along with being one of the founders of Templeton Boosters and Lions Club. He was instrumental to many of the ongoing celebrations throughout Paso Robles and North County including one of the first popcorn machines at a much smaller Christmas on Vine Street. His tire tracks are imprinted in so many lots, pools, roads, ditches, events and lives in general as he did not retire until age 75.