Feb. 26, 1939-Sept. 7, 2017
Heaven gained a good man today. Eugene W. "Gene" Ashby passed away September 7, 2017 at St. James Healthcare surrounded by his loving family.
Gene was born February 26, 1939 in Rock Springs, Wyoming to Kathryn (Behring) Ashby and Eugene O. Ashby. After spending his early years in Stansbury, Reliance and Rock Springs his family moved to Everett, Washington where he graduated high school in 1957. Even though Gene was an only child, he had a very large extended family in Wyoming, and was always excited and proud to visit and participate in their gatherings and reunions. His children and grandsons heard many stories of his life in Wyoming among the clan!
He served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged. He attended Everett Junior College on a football scholarship. After working for the City of Everett he continued his education at the University of Portland where he met Renee Duval and they married in 1966. He graduated in 1967 with a B.S. in Engineering. They began their married life in Idaho Falls where their four children were born.
Gene's engineering profession took him from the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) to Stearns-Roger in Denver. While there he was recruited to oversee the design of the new MERDI plant in Butte. He started this project as the Resident Engineer in Pasadena, California. He moved to Butte in 1977 where he continued his engineering career with MERDI / MSE. After 15 years he became the Department of Energy Site Manager until his retirement in 2007.
His life's focus was his family. He enjoyed being involved in coaching and attending all their sports and events. Papa Gene took great pride in his grandsons and spent his retirement years following their activities. As his health declined he made it a priority to continue to attend and support them. His words of encouragement were to always have fun.
Gene's Catholic faith was very important to him. He was an active member of Holy Spirit Church since it's inception and loved going to breakfast with his close friends following Mass on Sunday.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son Mark (July 21, 2017), in-laws Claude H. and Helen Duval.
He is survived by his wife Renee of 51 years; children Steve (Jackie), Dave, Susanne; grandsons Ryan, Riley, Connor; sister—in-law Charlene (Leonard) Moug; brother-in-law Skip Duval, niece Camille (Todd) LaBronte, nephew Brian and families in Idaho; aunts Betty DuPape and Nancy Holman, uncle Fred Behing and numerous cousins in Wyoming.
The family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the ICU staff, with special thanks to Doctor Perry and nurse Sherri S.
Services will be conducted on Wednesday, September 13 at Holy Spirit Church with visitation beginning at 10:00 am followed by the Funeral Mass at 11:00am. Rite of Committal will be held at a later date. To honor Gene's life, donations may be made to Our Lady of the Rockies, Butte Food Bank, or a charity of your choice.