January 26, 1942 — April 10, 2019 LYMINGTON, ENGLAND — Eugene “Gene” Ashley, the third generation so named, died on April 10, 2019 in Lymington, England.
He is survived by his wife, Jayne; his children by his first marriage, Katherine and Eugene Ashley (“Geno,” the fourth generation by that name); and Jayne’s son, Charles, whom Gene had adopted at six years of age.
Gene was born on Jan. 26, 1942 in Glens Falls to his father, Eugene Ashley (the second generation by that name, whose father was named Dominic and so is deleted from the generations of same name) and his mother, Betty Young, another member of a Glens Falls family. The decedent, in the local Eugene Ashley family, was the great-grandson of Eugene Ashley, the early entrepreneur and developer of hydroelectric energy. The first Eugene Ashley was instrumental in the development and completion of Spier Falls and is honored in the Glens Falls Civic Center with local luminaries.
Young Gene lived his early years in Glens Falls with his father, grandfather and grandmother, Dominic and Katherine Ashley; and great-grandmother, Elizabeth Hitchcock Ashley. He attended Sanford Street School. He remained there while his father served in the army during World War II. During this time, his parents divorced.
After his father returned home and resumed his college education, he married Gene’s stepmother, Jessie Knoblock, from another well-known Glens Falls family, whom he had known in high school. The following school year, Gene joined his father and Jessie in married students’ housing at MIT. After his father completed college, the family moved to the Buffalo area and finally to Burlington, Vermont. The family grew with sons, Peter, Christopher and Richard, who also survive their half-brother, Gene.
Gene completed elementary school and two years of high school in Burlington. For his last two years of high school, Gene moved to California and joined his mother, Betty. After high school, he attended Reed College, Portland State and San Jose State. He married Aileen Harmon Ashley and they raised their family with daughter, Katherine (“Katie”) and son, Eugene (“Geno”), the fourth generation by that name.
During the Vietnam War, Gene served as an officer in the Coast Guard, stationed in San Francisco. After a divorce from Aileen, he married his current wife, Jayne. For a time they remained in California and then moved to Jayne’s homeland, the United Kingdom, where he continued to live until his recent death.
As a youngster, Gene became interested in trains. During his stays in Glens Falls, Gene and an old friend from Glens Falls would ride the Delaware and Hudson spur, which still ran from Fort Edward to Lake George, now part of the trail system. His grandmother, Katherine, would drive the boys to Fort Edward and then pick them up at the station in Lake George.
Despite moves with the family and his business ventures, Gene always considered Glens Falls as his “home” and he visited as frequently as possible, especially when his grandmother, Katherine Ashley Nye, lived at the Ashley home at 7 Coolidge Ave. Gene always referred to his grandmother as “Mom,” for her nurture of him as a youngster in Glens Falls.
Gene will return to Glens Falls for his final resting place at a later date, joining all of the generations of the Ashley family in their plot at the Bay Street Cemetery.