Ashton Lee Smith, a remarkable individual born on March 1, 1920, left this world peacefully on March 3, 2023, just two days after his joyous 103rd birthday celebration, which was attended by many. Let’s take a closer look at the life of Ashton Lee Smith, a man whose legacy will undoubtedly outrank other stories of his time.
Early Years in Enoch, Utah
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Ashton’s journey began in Enoch, Utah, where he was the eldest child of Stanley Abner Smith and Grace Ashton Jones Smith. His upbringing was idyllic, filled with love and happiness, as he grew up on a picturesque farm surrounded by horses, chickens, pigs, and dairy cows. His family’s musical talents influenced him greatly, and he developed a deep love for music, becoming actively involved in barbershop singing, participating in choirs and quartets.
Education and Missionary Service
After attending a one-room schoolhouse in Enoch, Ashton joined the Branch Agricultural College (now SUU) in Cedar City. His passion for music continued to flourish, and in December 1940, he embarked on a missionary journey to the Eastern States Mission, where he participated in a chorus of missionaries that gave multiple public performances around Pennsylvania.
Love, Marriage, and World War II
On May 14, 1943, Ashton married his beloved Mathel Moore from Parowan, Utah, sealing their love for time and all eternity in the St. George Temple. Their love was immediately tested as, in June 1944, their first child, Sherry Lee, was born, and two days later, Ashton received his draft notice to serve in the Army during World War II. Leaving for training in July, he found himself on a ship bound for the Philippines in December.
Valor in the Philippines
Ashton served valiantly in the 149th Regiment of the 38th Infantry Division, playing a crucial role in the retaking of the Bataan Peninsula from the entrenched Japanese Army. He endured a serious injury from a Japanese tank shell but displayed immense resilience, returning to combat after a brief period of recuperation. His wife, Mathel, received a package with a Purple Heart Medal, which caused considerable anxiety until she received a letter from Ashton confirming his safety.
Pursuit of Education and Career
Following the war, Ashton pursued his education at the University of Utah, graduating in 1949 with a B.S. degree in Education. He then started his teaching career, taking on a position as a high school math teacher in Tooele. Additionally, he served as bishop in the Tooele 9th Ward, further demonstrating his dedication to his church and community.
A Life of Service
In 1954, Ashton and his family relocated to Salt Lake City, where he taught mathematics at various junior high schools and West High for many years. His passion for mathematics never waned, and he continued his education, earning a Master’s degree in Education with a math concentration from the University of Utah in 1961.
Ashton Smith Obituary:A Legacy of Love and Devotion
Throughout his life, Ashton and Mathel served as ordinance workers in both the Salt Lake and Bountiful temples, embodying their unwavering commitment to their faith. Even after retiring from teaching, they embarked on a mission at the Chicago temple for 18 months in 1989-1991, where Ashton served as a sealer, sealing families for eternity. Sadly, the world lost a beloved soul. Ashton Smith obituary serves as a testament to a life well-lived, dedicated to serving others and strengthening the bonds of family through his sacred work in the temples. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.
A Loving Family Man
Ashton and Mathel’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1993 was a testament to their enduring love. However, on April 11, 2005, Mathel passed away after suffering a stroke at their Bountiful home. Ashton remained independent and continued to care for his home and garden until his late 90s when he moved in with his daughter Geniel in Centerville, where he received loving care from his daughter Sherry Lee during his final months.
Ashton Smith Obituary:Remembering Ashton Lee Smith
Ashton Lee Smith’s 100th birthday in 2020 was a grand celebration, attended by over 200 friends and family, a testament to the impact he had on countless lives. With more than 100 descendants, Ashton’s legacy of love and kindness lives on in the hearts of those he touched. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Gordon, Drex, and Udell (Khay), and his beloved wife Mathel. Surviving him are his sisters Anna (Gary) Turner and Grace Marie (Ron) Dennis, his children Sherry (Bob) Lee, Geniel (Scott) Sly, Craig (Barbara) Smith, Valerie (Joe) Bond, Richard (Bonnie) Smith, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.
Ashton Smith Obituary: Final Farewell
Ashton Smith Obituary to honor Ashton Lee Smith will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 11:00 AM in the Centerville 2nd Ward chapel, located at 1475 North 50 East (Carrington Lane), Centerville, Utah. Prior to the service, a viewing will take place on Friday, March 10, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Russon Mortuary, 295 N. Main, Bountiful, Utah, and on Saturday from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM at the church. Interment will be at the Memorial Lakeview Cemetery in Bountiful.
To honor Ashton Lee Smith’s memory, memorial trees or flowers can be ordered for the family through our dedicated flower store. Services will be live-streamed on the Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page and this obituary page, starting approximately 10-15 minutes before the service. Let us come together to remember and celebrate the life of Ashton Lee Smith, a true example of a good and faithful servant who has now entered into a well-deserved rest.