Richard J. Ashby peacefully passed away Tuesday morning, March 29, 2011 at age 91. Dick died at Luther Acres in Lititz, PA, where he and Gloria Mayer Ashby, his loving wife of 67 years, planned to live. Born in Lancaster, PA March 1, 1920, the first of three sons of the late James E. Ashby and Bertha Buckwalter Ashby, he is survived by younger brother, James E. Ashby, Jr. of Neffsville, PA, but was preceded in death by younger brother, Carl W. Ashby, last year.
A graduate of the class of 1938 of McCaskey High School, be began his long and dedicated career with Posey Iron Works as a printmaker. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1941 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Trained as a pilot, he flew many missions in a B-24 from both Africa and Italy including the famed Ploesti Oil Field missions. He won the Army Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
Returning as a first lieutenant, he rejoined Posey Iron and after many promotions rose to head the Engineering Department until Posey closed in 1982. He was a well known and very accomplished tenor and sang for many choirs and choruses, was soloist at many weddings and sang in a number of barbershop quartets including the beloved Lanco Lads. He was a charter member of the Lancaster Red Rose Chorus.
A faithful member of Grace Lutheran Church, Lancaster, PA, he served in many capacities from council member to financial secretary. He was the long-time tenor soloist for their choir. In his younger years, he was a left-handed pitcher for the church softball team and was always a tireless worker in church activities. Dick never had a bad word for anyone and was always known for his smile. He loved and lived his music.
Dick is survived by his wife, Gloria; his son, Richard J. Ashby, Jr., married to Claire L. Ashby of Lititz, PA; and his daughter, Carol A. Wolpert, married to the Rev. Dr. Harry L. Wolpert of Berlin, MD. Also surviving him are his five grandchildren whom he loved dearly: Douglas R. Ashby of Allentown, PA; Elizabeth Ashby of North Hollywood, CA; Brian J. Ashby of Philadelphia, PA; Nathaniel D. Wolpert of Springfield, VA; and Amy E. Wolpert of Baltimore, MD. He was so happy to have two great grandchildren to cherish: Madeline S. Ashby and Madelyn G. Wolpert.
The memorial service celebrating his life and commending him to his Lord and Savior will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 517 N. Queen St., Lancaster, PA at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3, 2011. A time for visiting with the family will follow the service. Please omit flowers. If desired, gifts in Dick’s memory may be sent to Grace Lutheran Church Memorial Fund or to Harmony Foundation, 110 7th Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37203-3704.
Arrangements by the Kearney A. Snyder Funeral Home, 394-4097. To send an online condolence to the family, visit our website at: