Henry O. Ash (July 4, 1930 – December 1, 2019)
On Sunday, December 1, 2019, Henry Oliver (Hank) Ash passed away at the age of 89 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hank was born on July 4, 1930 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A member of the Luther League at St. Paul Lutheran Church, he graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1948. He began his geology studies at the University of New Mexico, then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving from 1950-1952. He then resumed his studies at UNM, receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology.
At UNM, Hank met Jane Reynolds, whom he married in 1955. They moved to Phoenix in 1957, where their daughter, Deborah was born in 1959. He worked for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management there until 1963, when he transferred with BLM to Washington, DC, where son Gregory was born in 1963 and son Daniel in 1965. In 1972, the family relocated to the Denver area when Hank became the coordinator for BLM’s oil shale program. Retiring from the government in 1983, he then began a second career in real estate, first in Denver, then later in the greater Glenwood Springs area after he and Jane relocated to the town of Silt on Colorado’s Western Slope.
A highlight for Hank post-retirement was accompanying his brother Sid on a scientific expedition to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic, where they collected paleobotanical specimens, dodged musk oxen, and camped in the wilderness.
An avid fisherman, hunter, hiker, bicyclist, jogger and swimmer, Hank enjoyed sharing the outdoors with his family and friends. He was active with his sons’ Boy Scout troops and sports teams, and a great supporter of his children’s musical and academic endeavors.
Loyal UNM Lobos, he and Jane were active in the Denver alumni chapter for many years. After Jane’s retirement, the couple traveled extensively throughout the U.S., toured Europe, and cruised the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Hank relished cowboy poetry and music, often attending the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Thus inspired, he began writing his own poems.
Hank loved animals, and had at least one dog in his life at any given time, plus cats and later, horses. His pets gave him great joy, and he raised his children to cherish God’s creatures great and small. No Ash home is ever complete without a pet!
Hank and Sid remained in touch with their fellow Luther Leaguers, holding occasional reunions in Albuquerque. Hank and Jane were most recently members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glenwood Springs.
Predeceased by son Daniel, brother Sidney, and parents Oliver and Ellen, Hank is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Deborah, son Gregory and wife Susan, daughter-in-law Dianna, grandchildren Lisa and Laura Johnson, and Leah and Jaden Ash, and his brother’s family, Shirley, Randy, Kathleen and her family.
Services will be held in Albuquerque on Saturday, February 15, 2020. Interment with honor guard will be at 11:00am in Sunset Memorial Park, followed by a 1:00pm memorial service and reception at St. Paul Lutheran Church, where Hank was baptized, confirmed, and married. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society (cancer.org).
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