Donald Ashton

July 11, 1925February 26, 2014
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Donald Ashton, age 88, of Fall River, died February 26, 2014. He was the husband of the late Barbara (McCann) Ashton.

Born in Fall River, a son of the late Harvey and Lillian M. (Fleet) Ashton, he lived in the Touisset area of Swansea for over 40 years before returning to Fall River in 2003, wintering and vacationing in Culebra, Puerto Rico since 1991.

A graduate of Moses Brown School, Class of 1943, and MIT, 1950, he served in the United Sates Navy in the Pacific aboard the USS Grimes during World War II.

He worked as an Industrial Engineer in Connecticut, New York and Maine before joining his father in 1955 at Thomas J. Ashton & Son, Funeral Directors, becoming a licensed Funeral Director, President and Manager of the business until its merger with the Waring-Funeral Home in 1971 which became Waring-Ashton for many years. He remained with the firm as a Funeral Director and Senior Consultant throughout the firms years of expansion as it became the Waring-Sullivan Homes of Memorial Tribute of present day.

In 1972 he was elected President and CEO of the former Union Savings Bank where he had been a Trustee and Board of Investment member since 1962 – and served until the banks’ merger with Citizens Savings Bank in 1983. He then became Senior Vice-President of Citizens-Union Savings Bank until retiring in 1989. He continued to serve on the board until 2012, contributing 50 years of service.

Active in his community, he was the former member of a multitude of professional organizations including: MA and National Funeral Director Associations, Director of MA Savings Banks, Director and Executive Committee member of Mutual Savings Central Fund. Some significant volunteer activities where: Chairman of the Finance and Advisory Committee for Town of Swansea, founding Life Member and Clerk of the Marine Museum of Fall River, Director Emeritus of Bristol County Development Council, founding member and former Treasurer of Fall River Carousel, Inc., Director and Finance committee member of Greater Fall River Chamber of Commerce.

In addition: he had been a Treasurer of the Swansea Land Trust, Director of the Quequechan Club, member of the Greater Fall River Task Force, Board of Directors of Adams House and a member of Fall River and Swansea Historical Societies. A 32nd degree Mason, he was a member of the King Philip Lodge, A.F.& A.M., Scottish Rite, Valley of Southeastern MA. He was also a longtime member of the Fall River Book Club.

An active 60 year member of Christian Congregational Church in Swansea, he served as Deacon, Moderator, Trustee and was their Chairman. An extremely sensitive, kind and sensible person, he was a leader within the profession of funeral service, banking and the civic and charitable sectors of our community; treating all with dignity as he helped so many in untold ways.

Don was a determined and enthusiastic golfer who never let the score get in the way of his enjoyment of the game. He was an active participant in several weekly area leagues and foursomes and rose to the position of chief meteorologist for the golf group previously known as Freddy.

An avid lifetime sailor, he was Fleet Captain of J-24 Class Fleet 47, a member of Narragansett Bay Yachting Association, raced on Narragansett Bay and adjacent waters and cruised extensively with his family and friends up and down the New England coast. He was former Treasurer and Commodore and Race Committee Chairman of the Coles River Club in Swansea, and a member of the Narragansett Bay Herreshoff S Class Association. Later in his life he served several enjoyable years sharing sea stories and nautical insights as a docent at the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, RI.

He is survived by 2 sons: Peter M. Ashton of Warwick, RI, David F. Ashton and his wife Katherine of Riverside, RI, 1 daughter: Ann H. Keegan of Culebra, Puerto Rico, 3 grandchildren; Ian M., Holly K. and Sara K. Ashton.

His funeral will be held Monday, March 3, 2014 at 10 AM in the First Christian Congregational Church, 1113 GAR Highway, Swansea. Visiting hours Sunday 1-4 PM in the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME OF MEMORIAL TRIBUTE AT BIRCHCREST, 189 Gardners Neck Rd., Swansea. Contributions in his honor may be made to Adams House, 1168 Highland Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720 or Herreshoff Museum, P.O. Box 450, Bristol, RI 02809. Burial in Mount Hope Cemetery in Swansea. Directions, tributes:



  • Visitation Sunday, March 2, 2014
  • Funeral Service Monday, March 3, 2014


  • Burial

Donald Ashton

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Mike Churchill

March 24, 2014

Dear David & family,
Please excuse the delay in expressing our condolences. We were so impressed with your father's life story - what a truly remarkable man. It would have been wonderful to have met him..
Best wishes Mike & Wyn Churchill.

Zdan Korduba

March 2, 2014

I am very sorry for your loss.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

March 2, 2014

Don was a good friend, and will be missed. We worked together at the White Church, at the Herreshoff Museum, and enjoyed crewing on the Robyn. At all times I benefited from his knowledge and good humor.

Al Stiles

Lisa Witten

March 1, 2014

Dear David, Kathy, Holly and Sarah,
Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your dad, father-in-law and grandpa. We know he was a great guy and will be truly missed.
With love, Lisa and Richard Witten

Mary Chatel

March 1, 2014

Dear David, Kathy, Holly, and Sara, David and I are so sad to hear of Don's death. He was such a wonderful person and we will always remember his gift for conversation and his infectious smile. Our hearts go out to you in this time of loss and we sent prayers and positive thoughts your way. Take care and we love you, the Chatels.

Heather Vine

March 1, 2014

Dave, Kathy, Holly and Sara, our sincere condolences on the loss of your dear Dad. Our thoughts and prayers our with you during this difficult time.
Len, Heather, Andrew, Hayley and Lauren

Pauline Moniz

February 28, 2014

David, Kathy and family, please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of your Dad. Your family are in our thoughts and we only pray time will heal all.
Pauline,Steve, Kory & Jerry

February 28, 2014

Don was an old and close friend of mine for some seventy years. He was the oldest of our sailing group and we had many adventures together through the voyage of our lives. I valued his friendship over the many years through good times and bad and he will be missed..

Smooth sailing old Buddy - Don Worthen

Jane & Jonathan (Wilcox) Hively

February 28, 2014

God Bless you all...My father "Big Dad" Dick Wilcox referred to Don as "President of the Family." His winning smile, surprising jokes, fun and unending encouragement will be greatly, greatly missed. A true friend and relative!

Harriet Avila

February 28, 2014

David, Kathy, Holly & Sara,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Harriet, Gioconda, Mara, Mercer & Nikki