William ‘Bill’ Jerome Ashton Jr., 90

Published 10:36 am Friday, August 5, 2016

William ‘Bill’ Jerome Ashton Jr., 90

William ‘Bill’ Jerome Ashton Jr., 90

William “Bill” Jerome Ashton Jr., 90, of Austin, Minnesota, died Thursday, Aug.4, 2016, at the Prairie Manor Nursing Home in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.

Born on March 23, 1926, in Austin to William and Bessie Ashton. He was the seventh son in a family of eight boys and two sisters.

Part of the “greatest generation” he served in World War II in the First Army, Ninth Division, 47th Regiment, in the European Theater of Operations during the battles in Central Europe, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of Dachau Nazi Concentration Camp, in Munich, Germany. Returning home from war, he graduated from Austin High School in 1947.

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In 1948, William was united in marriage to Madeline V. Murphy, at Queen of Angels Catholic Church, where they were lifelong parishioners. They celebrated 54 years of togetherness.

He was employed by the Hormel Company from 1943 to 1987, retiring after 44 years of service from the Warehouse Shipping Department.

Bill and Madeline enjoyed dancing to the “big bands,” singing along with the music of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, traveling, spending time with family, enjoying grandchildren, rooting on the Vikings, and taking care of his yard.

He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers: Vern, James, Kenneth, Darrell, Robert and Donald; and two sisters: Gladys and Nell. Survivors include five children: Colleen and Tom McKinney of Houston, Texas, James and Nanette Ashton of Eagan, Minnesota, Steven and Deloris Ashton of Blooming Prairie, Billie Ashton of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Dr. Robert and Susan Ashton of Eagan; twelve grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brother, Richard Ashton of Austin; and nieces and nephews.

The wake service will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, at Mayer Funeral Home.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016, with visitation at 9:30 a.m., and Mass at 10:30 a.m. at Queen of Angels Catholic church with Father Tom Niehaus, (presider), Family Crucifix: Tori Ashton of Onalaska, Wisconsin, Lectors: Ryan Ashton of Wausau, Wisconsin, Tyler Ashton of Willmar, Minnesota, Erin Schumacher (cantor), Sue Radloff (violinist) and Jean McDermott (pianist). Pallbearers: Justin Ashton of St. Paul, Ryan Ashton of Wausau, Dr. Derek Ashton of Minneapolis, Tyler Ashton of Willmar, Brennan Ashton of Winona, Minnesota, Alec Ashton of Duluth, Minnesota, and Ian Ashton of St. Paul.

Military Honors provided by American Legion Color Guard. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester, with Taps played by Tom McKinney (Former U,S. Navy Band Trumpeter, Vietnam Veteran & Son-in-Law, Houston, Texas).

Condolences may be left online at www.mayerfh.com.