Ashton Everett Welch died at home, surrounded by family, on Thursday, March 14, 2013. He had been battling COPD for a number of years and was always grateful for the seemingly extra time he was given to eek out the very last ounce of living. He was 70.
Born in Dover on Aug. 12, 1942, to Ashton W. and Wilma (Hanson) Welch he was raised in Northwood, which he always claimed as his hometown. He graduated from Coe-Brown Northwood Academy where he later served for a short period on the Board of Trustees. It was at the Academy that he found his interest in politics and government by serving as the school's delegate to both the YMCA Youth & Government Program and the American Legion Boys State. Twenty years after graduating, he returned to one of the CBNA classrooms to announce his candidacy for State Senate and incorporated this announcement as part of the Civics Class that day. Prior to running for the State Senate, he served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Early in his career, Ashton wrote for a local newspaper franchise in Massachusetts and then for The Monadnock Ledger in Jaffrey, The Concord Shoppers News, the Pittsfield News and The Farmington News newspapers. He also served for a short time as the assistant editor for the NH Echoes Magazine, a treasured NH publication capturing New Hampshire style and life.
After becoming involved with the NH Association of REALTORS, including serving as its Executive Vice President and Governmental Affairs Director for nearly twenty years, Ashton developed a great interest in affordable housing issues and managed housing development at all level of needs.
Ashton was also a professional photographer and founder of Carriage Hill Productions where he was able to put his passion and amazing eye for that perfect shot to use.
He was predeceased by his father, Ashton W. and mother, Wilma (Hanson), both of Franklin, and by his brother, Dr. Rev. Ronald C. Welch. He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Carol and by four sons, Derek Welch of Leominster, Mass, Craig Welch and his wife Stefany of Portsmouth, Trent Welch and his wife Katie of York, Maine, and Adam E. Welch of Paso Robles, Calif. He is also survived by two stepsons, Michael Crowley and his wife Kim of Epsom and Jeffrey Crowley and his wife Kim of New Freedom, Pa. He is also survived by three sisters, June Taylor-Kuhn and her husband Dietrich of Laconia, Martha Hammond and her husband Dennis of Boscawen and Mary Perkins and her husband Randy of Gilmanton and his brother, Garry Welch and his wife Kathy of Walpole. He leaves behind 13 grandchildren, two great-grandsons and a number of nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 at Bennett Funeral Home, 3 Church St., Concord. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 18 at the First Congregational Church of Concord, 177 North Main St., Concord, followed by a light luncheon at the church. Interment will be at 2 p.m. at Pine Hill Cemetery, Dover.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Coe-Brown Northwood Academy Development Fund, 907 First New Hampshire Turnpike, Northwood, New Hampshire, 03261, or the First Congregational Church of Concord, Development Fund, 177 North Main St., Concord, New Hampshire, 03301.
The Bennett Funeral Home of Concord is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences can be expressed online at bennettfuneral.com