Johnie Elmer Ashton was born in Hominy, OK to Elmer and Edna Lawmaster Ashton on October 6, 1922. He passed away on February 20, 2022 at Baylor Scott & White Centennial, in Frisco, TX at the young age of 99, due to complications from hip surgery.
While growing up, Johnie’s family lived in Cleveland, OK and then Hobbs, NM. He graduated from Hobbs High School in 1941.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 15, 1942 and was Honorably Discharged on December 10, 1945. He served over 3 years during WW2, attended the Navy Trade School at Norman, OK earning the rank of 3rd Class Petty Officer. He served aboard the USS Guadalcanal and finished his service as an Aeronautical Engineer 1st Class. Though he completed the necessary bookwork, he lacked 3 months of sea-duty for promotion to Chief Petty Officer.
Before moving to Hobbs. NM, he worked at Bowman’s Family Store in Cleveland, OK. During high school he delivered newspapers. Prior to entering the Navy, he
was a salesman and deliveryman for Pepsi Cola. He also worked for Republic Supply Company and American Airlines.
After his Navy service, he worked 32 years for Great Lakes Carbon Company of New York, in the oil fields of Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma in conjunction with Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company. Fourteen years later the company became General Refractories Company (Grefco Corp). He became Distract Sales Manager of liquid filtration products for the states of Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. He “finally” retired in Arlington TX November 1, 1982.
He was a 50-year member of the H.A. McFarland Lodge No 1338 Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Texas. He was also involved in the Mason’s in Hobbs NM, and Cleveland OK.
Johnie was an avid golfer. He was a member of several country clubs which included: the Odessa, TX CC, Rolling Hills CC Arlington, TX, Hope AR CC. He was a member of the Arkansas State Golf Association, Little Rock AR. He not only played the game but also served on many boards and committees. During his golfing career he made 4 holes-in-one! He would always pack his golf clubs on business trips and would never let the client just win the game.
Johnie also took flying lessons. Though he never received his pilot’s license, he did learn to fly a Piper Cub.
While living in Dallas he met Mary “Sue” Hatfield. She was a school teacher and a hostess at a nearby Kip’s Big Boy Restaurant. They married on October 1, 1965 at Central Christian Church of Dallas. They bought a home in Arlington TX, living there for 20 years. Johnie and Sue were members of the First Christian Church, Rolling Hills CC, and the Boys & Girls Club of Arlington. Johnie served on various church committees and was a deacon. After retirement, they moved to Springhill/Hope, AR and were members of the 1st Christian Church of Hope. Johnie and Sue were enthusiastic sports fans, especially for the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. They were early season holders for the Texas Rangers.
In 1954, Johnie and previous wife Gene Stevens Ashton, adopted a daughter Tracey Michele.
In his late 70’s Johnie started getting early Dementia. He and Sue moved closer to their daughter, Tracey Ashton Place. Dementia eventually progressed Alzheimer’s. Johnie and Sue would eventually move into a memory care facility. During their days in memory care, they enjoyed the organized activities, word puzzle books. Johnie always loved to play “Solitaire”, and the number of decks of cards that he played with during his life time are too numerous to be counted.
As his memory faded, he did his best to communicate with friends and family.
He was a very sweet man, a man of God, a very firm dad, and a fun Papa. He almost made it to 100 but it was his time to join family and friends in Heaven.
Johnie is survived by his daughter, Tracey Ashton Place and son-in-law Charlie Place, grandchildren Jeff Place and wife Teresa, Christopher Place and wife Jenny, and Emily Place; great-grandchildren Dakota, Sierra, Jayci, Kaylin Place, Brayden and Dylan Miller; sister Jody Ashton Dell and brother-in-law Charlie Dell; sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Sue Ashton; parents Elmer and Edna Ashton, brothers Warren Ashton and wife June, Don Ashton and wife Peggy.
In closing, if you had the privilege to know this man go play a round of golf, travel and see sights, make memories with your family, and be happy.