MAYFIELD — John Ashmore, of Mayfield, celebrated his 90th birthday this past year and went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 20, 2014. John was born April 26, 1923 in Gagetown, Mich. to William and Helen (Harrington) Ashmore.
He was a veteran of the United States Army and served during World War II from 1943 to 1946, stationed in New Caledonia, the Philippines and Japan.
On July 15, 1946 he married his wife Kathleen of Williamsburg, Mich. and later had four children, Ron, Joanie, Jackie, and Shelly.
As a boy he grew up farming and in his early adult years he bought and operated his own dairy farm and settled in the Grand Traverse area. He later went to work for the Grand Traverse County Road Commission as a heavy equipment operator, building many of the roads in the area and keeping the winter roads safe for driving. He retired after 35 years in 1985.
He was an active member of the Kingsley Baptist Church since 1958. He served many years as a deacon and board member, church treasurer, Sunday school teacher and youth leader. John and Kathleen often hosted missionaries on break from overseas as well as Christian youth groups visiting from various colleges. They also opened their home to numerous foster children over the years and later adopted Shelly.
John enjoyed playing baseball and coached for Joanie and Jackie’s softball teams for a number of years. In the summer and fall you would often walk in the house to find a baseball game on the TV. He loved animals, especially the many dogs he had during his life and was also active with Shelly’s horse shows and 4-H club. He was also a long time member of the American Legion Post # 289 of Williamsburg.
John enjoyed reading and playing cards, but more than anything he enjoyed being outdoors and physically active. In his retirement years he continued to stay active participating in numerous bowling leagues, enjoying long walks exploring in the woods with his grandsons, planting and caring for his tree farm, tinkering with his tractors, finding treasures at various auctions, cutting and supplying wood to people for their heating, and acting as caretaker of the Mayfield Park. He also loved his gardening and was known to have large gardens with more than enough to share. He took time to pray, study his Bible, visit the elderly and the sick, and was always willing to lend a hand to a neighbor with whatever was needed.
John was preceded in death by his parents; his six brothers William, Clarence, Samuel, Charles, Justice (Jiggs) and Theodore Ashmore; his sister Lulu Kozan; his grandson Jason Schmuckal and his great granddaughter Natasha Ashmore.
He is survived by Kathleen, his wife of 67 years, his son Ron (Kay) Ashmore of Durand, Mich., his daughter Joan Ashmore of Kingsley, his daughter Jackie (Ron) Ross of Newberry, Mich. and his daughter Shelly Ashmore of Traverse City.
Also surviving are seven grandsons Phillip, Paul and Nathan Ashmore, Joshua Schmuckal, Jeremy Ross, and Jonathon and Michael Murfield. He is also survived by nine great-grandchildren RoseAnn Ashmore, Destyni Schmuckal, Casondra and Curtis Ashmore and Thomas, Zachary, Patrick, Joshua and Brayden Ashmore.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., on Saturday, March 1, at the Kingsley Baptist Church with visitation at 1 p.m. Pastor Tom Randall will be officiating. Burial will take place at a later time.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Kingsley Baptist Church or the American Legion Post # 289 of Williamsburg. Please share your fond memories and condolences at www.CovellKingsley.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Covell Funeral Home of Kingsley.