LEOMINSTER-------Albert John Ashton, formerly of Leominster, passed away unexpectedly on May 22, 2017 at the River Terrace Healthcare Center in Lancaster.
The son of William Thomas and Sophia Ashton, he was born in Leominster and raised in Chicopee and Leominster. Attending Leominster Schools, he graduated from Leominster High School in 1942.
While in high school, John was a member of the Cadet Corps at Fort Devens and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in April of 1942. Following training in Florida, he was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in England, and served with the 491st Bombardment Squadron and the 1st Strategic Air Depot, in airfield operations. John was discharged honorably in April of 1946, receiving several medals and ribbons.
On return home at the close of hostilities overseas, John worked at Iver Johnson Arms in Fitchburg as a gunsmith and at Guy P. Harvey Co. in Leominster as a machinist. Progressing through the trade to the level of Tool and Die Maker, he also worked at Union Products of Leominster and Barkley & Dexter Laboratories in Fitchburg.
Following Vocational Instructor training at Fitchburg State College, John taught Machine Related courses at the Saxton Trade School and Leominster Trade High School. Eventually moving to the Fitchburg Vocational School where he taught Machine Shop, John designed and headed the Machine Shop Practices department the Montachusett Regional Vocational School until his retirement.
In his leisure time, John enjoyed cooking, following yard-sales and gardening, especially the cultivation of indoor plants.
John was predeceased by his wife Jean (Thayer) Ashton in 2016, and previously by his brothers William “Buddy” Ashton and Joseph Ashton. He is survived his four children, William T. Ashton of Leominster, Mark E. Ashton of Leominster, Elizabeth Milburn of Shirley and Wendy Stanick of Lancaster; additionally, he is survived by five grandchildren, Sonja Barenboyn of Danvers, William T. Ashton of Leominster, Julia C. Ashton of Worcester, Samuel Ashton and Benjamin Ashton of Leominster, and several nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service will be held for the family; there are no calling hours.
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