Emery Carl Ashbeck of Hermiston died on Nov. 12, 2019 in Hermiston at the age of 96.
He was born on March 5, 1923 in Milladore, Wis. to Frank and Catherine Oltman Ashbeck.
Raised in Wisconsin on a dairy farm during the Depression, Emery learned the value of hard work at an early age. He quit school in the seventh grade to help on the family farm when illness struck his father. He said they were fortunate because they always had a garden and all the cream they could ever want.
Emery caught a freight train out west at the age of 16 with his best friend, Whitey, and loved telling of the adventure and the folks he encountered along the way. Emery joined his brother Oscar and sought farm work in the Echo area. When World War II broke out, he joined the United States Army and served in the Philippines and Japan. After his honorable discharge, the handsome soldier returned to Echo, where he courted and won the heart of his beloved Dorothy “Dottie” Mudge. They were united in marriage on April 13, 1949 in Pasco, Wash. They built a home for their family, a daughter and two sons.
Emery went to work at the McNary Dam as a lock operator, where he loved his job and the many friends he made there. He retired in 1984, but continued his dedication to working hard and only looking for the good throughout the rest of his years. After retiring, Emery and Dottie enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, visiting family and friends. Together, they celebrated births of grandchildren and great grandchildren, weddings and the lives of lots of precious friends. They instilled the love of “gathering” in the hearts of all who knew them.
Emery is cherished by his family for his deep wisdom, sense of humor, and his deep respect for people, animals and his country. He was a member of the Catholic church and the Moose Lodge, and a life member of the Elks and VFW. Emery enjoyed hunting, gardening, fishing and the mountains.
He is survived by his sons, Bob Ashbeck and wife Kim, Portland and John Ashbeck and wife Sherry, Hermiston; daughter, Toni Kay and husband Ron Holeman, Powell Butte; 15 grandchildren; 34 great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and many life-long friends.
Emery was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Dottie Ashbeck; his parents; five brothers; and six sisters.
A celebration of life service will be held on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 from 2 until 4 p.m. at Maxwell Event Center, 145 N. First Place, Hermiston.
A private family burial was held at the Echo Cemetery.
The Ashbeck family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to Good Shepherd Medical Center and Vange John Memorial Hospice for their efficiency, compassion and kindness during Emery’s illness. A sincere thank you to all the staff and friends at Guardian Angel Homes for many years of love and kindness. A special thank you to Doris Bryant, Emery’s devoted companion of the last six years.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Emery’s memory to Vange John Memorial Hospice Education Fund.
Please share memories of Emery with his family at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.