Laurence (Larry) Marten Ashton (age 72) was born on April 13th, 1949, and died on January 11th, 2022, after a long illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, John K. and Gloria M. Ashton, who supported him throughout their lives and beyond, and is survived by his sister, Linda D. St. Pierre; brother, Robert A. Ashton; sister-in-law, Maria E. Ashton; niece, Karina M. Ashton; nephews Arthur J. Ashton, Matthew P. St. Pierre, Michael E. St. Pierre, and Michael’s wife, Sabrina Jales St. Pierre, and daughter, Camila Jales St. Pierre, Andrew D. St. Pierre, and Morgan J. St. Pierre; and cousins, PJ Savago and PJ’s wife Dona Heneberger Savago, John Savago and his wife, Terri Lee McGarrell Savago, and Susan Savago-Conklin and her husband, Marc Conklin; his Grandma Schlueter’s nephews Gert and Jürgen Martens, and Jürgen’s wife Lineke; as well as the many wonderful nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews of his cousins.
Larry was born, raised, and lived most of his life in Ulster County, NY. He grew up on Elting Avenue in New Paltz, attended school in New Paltz, and made Gardiner his home for almost 50 years. Throughout his life he loved horses and knew that he had to follow his passion. In 1972, Larry investigated his options, gathered his life savings, and traveled to Sperry, Oklahoma, to become a farrier. After returning home, proudly bearing his diploma from Oklahoma Farrier’s College, Larry went to work as the farrier for Rocking Horse Ranch, caring for dozens of horses. He subsequently worked freelance, traveling to local farms and ranches to trim and shoe horses.
A well-known and beloved “character,” Larry felt blessed to have his Gardiner neighbors welcome and embrace him throughout his life. He enjoyed driving around in his old car to visit friends and family and had a generous nature, often gifting friends with seasonal corn on the cob, fresh eggs from his friend’s farm, or raisin pumpernickel bread from a bakery in Ellenville. In addition to being well known in the Mid-Hudson Valley as a farrier, Larry was a local artisan. He enjoyed creating household items and art from wood and horseshoes, such as wagon wheel tables, mirrors, coat racks, belt buckles, and key ring ornaments, often giving them to friends and family.
Larry had more than his share of challenges and adversity. When he was young, a serious car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury and other lifelong health issues. Despite his challenges, Larry remained an eternal optimist. His favorite refrains were, “I can’t complain about nothin’,” and “We’re here for a short time, so have a good time.” In 2017, his humble cottage was razed by fire. As he watched his house burn, Larry smiled and said, “I came into this world with nothing, and I’ll leave this world with nothing.” Although he did not know what the future held and had no expectations, he was extremely thankful for the friends, neighbors, and family who provided Go Fund Me donations to help replace his cottage with a brand new trailer.
Fiercely proud of being part of the Ashton family, Larry enjoyed reminiscing about his Schlueter and Ashton grandparents and often talked of his parents, siblings, niece, nephews, and cousins. He brought toys to the youngsters and took them for pony rides. Lately, Larry relished the Thursday night prime rib special at P&G’s, and whenever he entered P&G’s, he would point to Susan Savago and proudly tell strangers, “That’s my cousin Susan!” He recently enjoyed talking with his Aunt Ethel Savago and sharing family memories.
Larry would often say how lucky his brother Bob was to have his pretty wife Maria and their twins Karina and Arthur. Bob was the little brother on whom Larry would come to rely in his later years. And he never changed his relationship with his former brother-in-law, Paul St. Pierre, often stopping by Paul’s house for a haircut or to get something repaired. Once Paul asked Larry why he owned three horses that he never rode. Larry replied, “You have four sons that love you, and I have three horses that love me.” Larry enjoyed being Uncle Larry to his nephews Matthew, Michael, Andrew, Morgan, and Arthur, and his niece Karina and never tired of telling people how much he loved his sister, Linda, and how good she was to him.
Although Larry is not here to thank Berger Hansen, his family would like to thank him for being a good friend and watching over him in recent years when he needed it most. His family would also like to thank Larry’s neighbor Robin Rohner for the times he would lend Larry a helpful hand or engage him in friendly conversation.
Larry Ashton will be remembered for his frequent acts of kindness and generosity, his honesty, and his humble gratitude for what he had. A Celebration of Life is planned for spring or early summer, 2022. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations may be made to the Farriers’ National Research Center, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that promotes farrier science research and education: Farriers’ National Research Center, Inc., 14093 East Hwy 136, La Fayette, GA 30728. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.