Alison H. Ashton
1947 - 2020
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Alison Hubbard Ashton

November 17, 1947 - July 22, 2020


Alison Hubbard Ashton, 72, passed away on July 22, 2020 at Duke University Hospital. Born on November 17, 1947 in Baton Rouge, LA; she was the daughter of the late Ralph Shelton Hubbard Jr. and Emma Kohler Hubbard. Alison graduated from Louisiana State University in 1969 with a degree in home economics. She also did graduate work in textiles at Florida State University. She obtained her PhD in business (accounting) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1978. Along with her husband, Alison was a professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University from 1986 until her retirement in 2011. Prior to coming to Duke, she was a professor at New York University and the University of Alberta, Canada.

Growing up, Alison was close to her maternal grandparents John Joseph Kohler and Amelia Will Kohler, after whom she named her daughter. Alison graduated from Baton Rouge High School as a national merit scholar. At LSU, she was among the first women to live in the Delta Gamma sorority house and served as rush chair for two years. She was briefly on the women's rifelry team and also represented the state of Louisiana at the 1968 national college queen competition. She was among the first women to receive a PhD in accounting at Texas and she remained throughout her life a mentor for young women, later taking a two-year leave from Duke to serve as the Mary Ardrey Stough Kimbrough professor at Salem College where she led a center for women in business. Her academic research was grounded in cognitive psychology and focused on judgment and decision making issues in various organizational contexts. While at Duke, she taught management accounting and for a time served as associate dean of executive MBA programs both at home and abroad.

Alison hand-made Halloween costumes, cooked gourmet Cajun food, and celebrated all holidays and special events with style and spirit (even joining Duke undergraduates on the quad the night of the 1991 NCAA basketball championship win). She was elegant but never aloof; her warmth and compassion made everyone she met feel at home and at ease.

She is survived by her husband: Robert Hayes Ashton, of Durham; her daughter: Amelia Ashton Thorn and husband Evan, of Durham; step-daughters: Amy Ashton Lazor and husband Paul, of Austin, TX and Lee Ashton Burton and husband Lynn, of Dallas, TX; four grandchildren: Ashton and Natalie Alison Thorn and Alexandra and James Lazor; her brothers and their families: Warren Shelton ("Smoke") Hubbard and wife Fran, of Epworth, GA and Ralph Shelton Hubbard III and wife Nancy, of Baton Rouge, LA; her Delta Gamma sisters; and by other friends and family.

Private services were at the Chapel of Raleigh Memorial Park Mausoleum in Raleigh, NC on Sunday, July 26, 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Delta Gamma Foundation to help fund a scholarship in her name – 3250 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43221 or

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Published in Herald Sun on Jul. 26, 2020.
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