Kenneth Ralph Ashby, age 76, passed away on Friday, April 7, 2017 in Murray, Utah. He was born May 26, 1940 in Delta, Utah to Orran Thomas and Stella Leona Gardner Ashby. He was the third of four children: Richard, Larry, Ken and Margaret.
Ken grew up living in Phoenix, Arizona during the winter months and farming in Delta, Utah with his father and brothers in the summer months. He graduated in 1958 from Camelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and then attended Brigham Young University where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Economics and found a love for BYU football. Go Cougars!
Ken served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1960-1962 in the Southern States Mission. On November 17, 1962, just 11 weeks after his returned, he was married and sealed to his high school sweetheart, DeAnn George, in the Mesa Arizona LDS Temple.
Ken and his wife settled in Utah where he took over the ownership and operations of Ashby Valley View farms in Sutherland, Utah. He farmed approx. 300 irrigated acres of alfalfa hay and grain. When asked what his lifelong dream was, he’d often quip, “to make a profit farming.” Ken and DeAnn had 6 children, two boys and 4 girls. Ken was very active in the Delta community. He served in many community roles including as chairman of the Millard County Water Board.
He had a love for farming and a passion for serving the farming community. This was evident in his many years of service with the Utah and National Farm Bureau Federation. His many roles included: National Young Farmer and Rancher, Vice President and President of the Utah Farm Bureau and a board member of the National Farm Bureau Federation. Ken and his wife found a love for exploring as they traveled the United States and the world promoting farming. In 1994, Ken and DeAnn moved to South Jordan, Utah where soon after DeAnn passed away unexpectedly.
Ken met Mary Mearlene Garner “Mert” in 1996, and they were married in the South Jordan Temple on December 7, 1996 and later sealed in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. This added a wonderful stepson and stepdaughter to the family. Ken and Mert spent the next 20 years in South Jordan and traveling the world.
He was preceded in death by his first child: David George Ashby; and his wife: DeAnn George. He is survived by his wife: Mert; five children and two stepchildren: Julie (Roger) Kirkman, South Jordan; Kevin (Kaye) Ashby, Phoenix, AZ; Kaye (Mark) Stevens, South Jordan; Kendra (Todd) Johnson, Orlando, FL; Gayle (BJ) Smith, South Jordan; Hillari Garner, South Jordan; and Brandon (Missy) Garner, West Jordan.
Viewing: Friday, April 14, 12 Noon - 1:30 pm, Nickle Mortuary, 190 South Center St, Delta. Burial will follow in the Delta City Cemetery. The Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 15, at 11:00 am, at the Oquirrh Lake Stake Center, located at 4517 W. Mille Lacs Dr., South Jordan, Utah.