East Lyme - James Frederick Ashton, 88, of Niantic, died Tuesday, May 3, 2011, with his wife and two children by his side.
He was born Aug. 14, 1922, in St. Helens, England, the beloved son of the late Laura and John Ashton.
Fred, as he was commonly known, came to this country in 1947 at the age of 25, accompanied by his wife Alice. They initially lived in New Jersey, but soon moved to Connecticut with their two children, Clifford and Pamela. They settled in the Giants Neck Heights section of Niantic in 1956.
He held an associate's degree from Newark College of Engineering. Fred was a machine designer for Electric Boat for 32 years, until retiring in 1988.
Fred was an accomplished pianist and organist. He will be fondly remembered playing the piano on many family occasions. He also loved photography, music (jazz), reading, chess, gardening with his wife and learning computers. Many weekends and free time were spent working on their home, and crewing for his son in sail boat races, at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club. He was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church.
Fred had an indomitable sense of humor, inquisitive about anything and everything and most importantly - an endless love and devotion to and for his family. In general, he had an overall lust for life and learning.
In addition to his loving wife of 65 years, he is survived by his two children, Pamela L. Ashton and her partner, Michael, of Colchester, Clifford and wife, Teri, of East Lyme; and their two grandchildren, Haley and Jeffrey.
He is predeceased by his parents, and his sister, Jean.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Lake Ave., Niantic. Burial will follow in East Lyme Cemetery. A calling hour will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., Meals on Wheels Program, 81 Stockhouse Road, Bozrah, CT 06334.
To sign the online guest book visit www.fultontherouxniantic.com