MERIDEN - Philip T. Ashton, 82, husband of Jane (Bishop) Ashton, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. He was born in Meriden on Feb. 24, 1934 to the late Philip E. and Millicent M. Ashton. Philip was a graduate of Meriden High School, class of 1951, and Yale University, class of 1955, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He began his career in 1957 as a cadet engineer with Conn. Light & Power Co. After holding various positions at CL&P and subsequently Northeast Utilities, Phil was selected Vice President of Transmission and Distribution in 1978 and in 1982 became Senior Vice President and General Manager of N.U.'s Gas Business. In 1989, Phil was honored to be chosen Chief Executive Officer of newly incorporated Yankee Energy System Inc., a position he held until his retirement in March of 1995. Phil was very involved in his profession through many organizations, including registered Professional Engineer, Treasurer and Vice President of the Power Energy Society, President of the Guild of Gas Managers, Chairman of the New England Gas Association, Chairman of the Iroquois Pipeline Management Committee, and Director of the American Gas Association, to mention only a few.
Phil loved Meriden and his community by serving his neighbors and region. He held various positions at the American Red Cross, was an unbelievable 55-gallon donor, corporator of the Meriden Boy's Club, Director of Church Homes Inc., Founding Director of Conn. Capital Regional Growth Council, and campaign co-chairman of United Way of Meriden and Wallingford. He was also a trustee of the First United Methodist Church of Meriden, member and later chairman of the Meriden Planning Commission, director of the Meriden Economic Development Commission, Chairman of the Meriden Flood Control Commission, and appointed to the Connecticut Siting Council. See a short biography of Phil from his 1995 induction into the Meriden Hall of Fame at http://www.meridenhalloffame.org/Inductees/Year.asp?InductionYear=1995.
He loved his family, talking about and volunteering in politics, studying history with a special affinity for Winston Churchill, and was fascinated with all things related to Bermuda.
In addition to Jane, his wife of 60 years, Philip is survived by his four children and their spouses: Debbie and Tom Molloy, of Meriden, Kate and Stephen Grice, of Georgia, Bob and Susan Ashton, of Virginia, and Stuart and Krissi Ashton, of New Jersey. Philip also had 10 cherished grandchildren: Ryan and Daniel Molloy, Taylor and Nathan Grice, Catherine, Philip, Emily, and William Ashton, and Nicholas and Stefan Lazaroae.
A memorial service honoring Philip's life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 159 E. Main St., Meriden. Burial will be private. The Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home, 48 Cook Ave., Meriden, has been entrusted with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Phil's memory may be made to the Community Foundation of Central Connecticut (http://www.communityfoundationcc.org
; 35 Pleasant St., Meriden, CT 06450). To send a condolence to his family, please visit www.beecherandbennett.com.