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2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017

Deckman 21 Dec 17 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,Mg 21 Dec 17 - 11:44 PM
Stewart 22 Dec 17 - 10:01 PM
GUEST, Maggie Dwyer 22 Dec 17 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 23 Dec 17 - 02:43 AM
Deckman 23 Dec 17 - 09:30 AM
Deckman 25 Dec 17 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Mary Beth Abel 29 Dec 17 - 11:09 PM
GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford 31 Dec 17 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford 31 Dec 17 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,Deckman - by email to Joe Offer 09 Jan 18 - 02:20 AM
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Subject: Obit: A Seattle Obituary
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Dec 17 - 10:08 PM

It is with much sadness that I tell you that John Ashford passed away this morning. I hear there will be a memorial service after to soon to be holidays. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: A Seattle Obituary
From: GUEST,Mg
Date: 21 Dec 17 - 11:44 PM

May he rest in peace..a !ovely man.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: Stewart
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 10:01 PM

Yes, it's sad to hear of the passing of John Ashford. I'll hold off until we have an offical obituary, but here is something to tell about John.

Bob(deckman)Nelson wrote an article about John Ashford in the NW HOOT in the series "Those Who Led The Way" here.

John was an early member of the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society in 1953. His father, Paul Ashford, was a folklorist and song collector in the Pacific Northwest. While John was still a youngster his father used to bring his friends home for Sunday dinners and to gather around the family piano. It was here that John first met the likes of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Ivar Haglund.

John and Sally (a.k.a. Pushkara) Ashford formed a singing club called "The Seattle Folksinging Society" in the mid 1950s. In the 1972 John was president of the Seattle Folklore Society when the Northwest Folklife Festival was initiated. After that John and Sally Ashford were prime instigators in forming the Seattle Song Circle.

John was a good friend and a true gentleman in the real sense of that term. I will miss him greatly.

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST, Maggie Dwyer
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 10:52 PM

I knew John and Sally as visitors to our home when my father (John Dwyer) took up folk music in a major way. I think my parents frequented their coffee house (also one run by Stan James) - coffee in Seattle in the late 1950s - 1960s wasn't what coffee is today in Seattle. I was grown and away from my parent's homes when the Seattle Song Circle meetings were at his home and others in the Puget Sound area, so my memories go way back to a beautiful and talented couple in our earliest days as a folk family.

Maggie Dwyer


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 02:43 AM

John & Sally's parties on the Friday night of Folklifes were our introduction to the Seattle folk scene in the mid-seventies. What lovely hosts they were!

Jon


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Subject: RE: Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: Deckman
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 09:30 AM

I have heard from the family that John's passing was peaceful, and swift. He was surrounded by all of his large family. There was singing, stories, tears, and relief. He was a Seattle folk music icon. As with many others, my life is now diminished with his loss ... BUT MY ... what grand memories. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Dec 17 - 03:23 PM

re-fresh please


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST,Mary Beth Abel
Date: 29 Dec 17 - 11:09 PM

Dear everyone, I am sad to say that I never knew John Ashford's musical side. I worked with him on two books so far based on his experience in the Peace Corps. A wonderful book designer and editor for John's book, Marian Beil, just emailed me about this page. It is nice to read about him here. If you are interested in John's work as a writer (and I believe he was gifted), John has two POD books available on Amazon: Meeting the Mantis and Dusty Land (a collection of short stories). Very best regards, Mary Beth


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 05:31 PM

Hi, Mudcat, SFS and Pacific NW Folklore Society and Pacific NW Folklife friends:

Thank you Bob Nelson and all who have commented here regarding John Ashford's recent solstice passing.

We wanted to wait until a time and place for John's memorial was set before publishing his obituary in the newspaper and posting a brief tribute to the People's Memorial Association website. We're negotiating for a date in January with South Seattle Community College where John was hired to head the library when the school was opened in 1970. He taught a number of courses there, including several about folk music traditions.

In the meantime, I've posted a photo taken by our daughter, Wendy, on my Facebook page, along with the following:

Our beloved John Ashford orchestrated a peaceful 3:18 a.m. Winter Solstice passing, accompanied by two of his children, the "midwives of passage," Frank and Wendy. He was 82 years young. John's family has grown and metamorphosed over the 60 years since he and I met and married in 1958. We were together for 26 of those years, grew each other up while raising our three children, David, Frank and Wendy...the "glue" being our love for each of them and the folk music we made together. [More of John's and our history to come, but you can read and hear a range of FAQs and myth at the Pacific NW Folklore Society website: http://pnwfolklore.org/SeattleFolksingers-ThoseWhoLedTheWay-Ashfords.html]

The profound spiritual awakening, the descent of Grace, or shaktipat from our meditation master, Baba Muktananda, deepened our connection, yet ultimately ended our marriage, as each of us set out on our unique soul's quest for love and wisdom beyond the confines of convention. John remarried. He and Gen served together in the Peace Corps. Their years in Botswana among the Kalahari Bushmen are the basis of his two books, "Meeting the Mantis," and the most recent, "Dusty Land," published just last week. Gathered around John's hospice bed were John's children, his niece and three teenage children, Gen's son and daughter, their mates and grandchildren whose lives have all been enriched by John's gentle care and mentoring. With Gen's daughter's remarriage, three amazing brothers have extended our blended family, now numbering around 30, before beginning to count uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.) We are grieving and so grateful for his love and easeful passing.

And so it is.
Blessings with bundles of gratitude and love for each of you who have been a part of our lives. We have not forgotten.
Pushkara aka Sally


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST,Pushkara Sally Ashford
Date: 31 Dec 17 - 06:03 PM

Following on my post above, the links on Pacific NW Folklore Society to actually hear John sing don't seem to be working. Here's a soundcloud link from the UW library collection put together by Bob Nelson with John singing and playing banjo on "Payday at Coal Creek." https://soundcloud.com/uwlibraries/john-ashford-last-payday-at


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Subject: RE: 2017 Obit: John Ashford, Seattle, Dec. 2017
From: GUEST,Deckman - by email to Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jan 18 - 02:20 AM

The "official" obituary for John Ashford is here: https://funerals.coop/obituaries/john-ashford.html

John Ashford, writer and retired professor of Library Science at South Seattle Community College, died on Thursday, December 21st (2017), having shared his final days with family and friends. He was 82 years old. John is remembered as master storyteller whose wit and quiet wisdom were graced by natural modesty and the openness of a genuine listener. He helped to found the Seattle Folklore Society and the West Seattle Historical Society, early accomplishments that reflect what would become a lifelong interest in the relationship between history and mythology. After retirement, he joined the Peace Corps with his wife Genevieve, moving to Botswana to teach library science at a teacher's college. Near the end of their assignment, John's interest in the disappearing culture of the Kalahari Bushmen sent them into the Kalahari desert on a quest for contact and understanding. He spent much of the rest of his life telling the story of what happened on that journey, in his books Meeting the Mantis (2015) and In a Dusty Land (2017), as well as in various articles and short stories. Along the way he read widely, maintaining an intellectual independence and generosity of spirit that allowed him to nurture others as a husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was never at a loss for a book recommendation or word of advice, and in this way of being with others through stories he discovered a destiny that will continue to enrich our lives for years to come.

Memorial service will be held Saturday, February 3 (2018), at Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California Ave. SW) in Seattle from 1-4 pm.


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