Family-Placed Death Notice
Gussie Lee deHay Bilton Ashman, formerly of Eutawville and more recently Roswell, GA passed away at St. Joseph's Heart Institute in Atlanta, GA on August 17, 2005 at 9:40pm. Funeral services will be Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM at Bethlehem Southern Methodist Church. The family will receive visitors from 4-6 PM on Saturday, August 20 at Avinger Funeral Home in Holly Hill. She was born September 7, 1925 to Gussie Young deHay and Ethel Gertrude Ballentine deHay of Moncks Corner, SC. She grew up in Moncks Corner and graduated from Berkley County High School. She worked for a short period of time at the Charleston Navy Yard, where she met her future husband Marvin Asberry Bilton of Eutawville, SC. They were married October 29, 1944 and had two children, Carole Lynn Bilton and Marvin (Mark) Dana Bilton. She and Marvin owned and operated a gas station, a grocery store and a General Electric dealership, and she also worked as a chair side dental assistant for Dr. Billy Wilson, a well respected Holly Hill dentist. Marvin died in 1977 and on August 22, 1986 she married John Joseph Ashman of Eutawville and West Virginia. They lived in Eutawville and Salt Lake City, UT and they traveled until John's death several years later. Following John's death she worked with her nephew Bobby Bilton at Bilton's IGA in Eutawville. Always active she served as the organist of Bethlehem Southern Methodist Church between Holly Hill and Eutawville for 44 years. She waa active in the Vance Order of the Eastern Star and served as the organist there as well. She often played the organ in other churches and taught other organists. She was invited to play the organ at the Mormon Tabernacle while living in Salt Lake City and to play the carillon in Charleston. She was a member of the International Egg Art Guild and has many lovely decorated real eggshells in her collection. She traveled extensively with her daughter and son in law Dick Kjellsen even after she suffered a brain hemorrhage and multiple strokes over the past six years. She particularly enjoyed traveling to Dick's home in South Dakota, visiting his family and friends there, and spending time at the converted one-room schoolhouse that Dick and Carole (along with his sister DiAnn Kjellsen Pierce) restored and made into a vacation home. She chose to move to GA in 2002 and chose Elmcroft of Roswell Assisted Living and Personal Care Facility as her residence, where she continued to play the organ with only her right hand in weekly recitals and served as the official greeter, helping new residents learn where to find their rooms and assisting them in meeting other residents. She was preceded in death by her parents, both of her half brothers Kenneth Murray and Carlisle Murray, both of her loving husbands Marvin and John, and her only son Mark, who was killed in 1980. She is survived by her only daughter Carole Lynn Bilton Kjellsen and son in law Richard (Dick) Clay Kjellsen; one grand child Carmen Nicole Bilton (Mark's only child), her beloved sister Beatrice Antley and a number of nieces and nephews and friends. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to any of the following: Bethlehem Southern Methodist Church, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Lupus Foundation, or the Eutawville Cemetery Fund.