Lorne Thomas Ashman passed to the other side, on January 14, 2012, at the age of 81 years. He lived in Trail, British Columbia, had been struggling for a few years with a degenerative illness.
Lorne was born in Medonte, Ontario, near Orillia on May 27, 1930, and spent his early years in Longford – “where they grow potatoes small, they pick ‘em in the fall, they eat them skins and all, in Longford.” That was a saying our BC family heard regularly for the next 60 years. He derived great happiness all his adult life recounting these years, the wonderful times he shared with his parents, siblings and extended family, his youthful exploits, and loves.
In the early 50s, Lorne went west to join his brother in BC, met and soon married Verna Prochnau, in in Oliver, BC. They spent nearly 60 years together between BC and some in Ontario, where both their children, Dan and Vicki were born. They also lived several great years in Penticton, BC where Lorne enjoyed his favourite passion, as the appointed Number One Fan of the Penticton Broncos, before moving to Trail.
Lorne had an appetite for fun and varied experience. His employment in the early years was as a milkman, life insurance, bartender, logger, independent contractor, to name a few. In his middle years Lorne was in construction, a proud Teamster and strong union supporter. In later years he was in sales at, his son Dan’s dealership A.M Ford in Trail, BC
Lorne was best known for his high-spirit, quick wit, seeing humour in where some don’t, and his sense of merriment. He was the life of the party and a magnet for friends and good times. As a youngster, he was the class clown, and in middle years, probably the first to suggest happy-hour after work. The descriptions of characters Lorne had encountered in his life, his own escapades, and the tales he wove were colourful and humorous to the point of tears and sore bellies. He had a never-ending, life-long repertoire of risque jokes and expressions, bringing fun to everything he did. He was not a forgettable man and Lorne had a magical quality that lifted the spirits of everyone he met.
He was undoubtedly a man’s man, but on the softer side, Lorne was highly intuitive, and had a magnanimous spirit. He had empathy for the underdog in life. Lorne was very sentimental and as he often said; his bladder was close to his eyeballs. Lorne expressed with clarity, how he felt about what he saw as injustice and unfairness and on occasion he felt the need to physically correct one’s perceived bad behaviour. His harshest judgements, and very best expletive-laden phrases, were for those who abused power.
Lorne has been lovingly welcomed home by his parents, George Ashman and Audrey Johnson, his siblings, infant Lloyd, and Brother Cliff and Sister Beatrice Ball, as well as many friends who, we can only imagine, had a cold beer waiting for him.
Until we meet again, Lorne is only temporarily separated from his wife Verna and son Dan (Patty) of Trail, BC, daughter Vicki of Penticton, BC, grandchildren DJ, Shaun, Kirsten Ashman-Ellis(Jeff)and Kenny Kushner, his gr-grandchildren, Hannah, Taylor, Emma and Grace, his brother Harv (Vera) of Nanaimo, BC, sisters Irene Canning and Betty Scott of Orillia, Ontario, sister-in-law Elsa Lewis (Cliff) of Oroville, WA, and numerous beloved nephews and nieces and cousins, most of whom are in Ontario, and some close friends of many years.
A brief family ceremony took place in Trail, BC at Alternatives Funeral Service with a blessing given by Minister Keith Simmonds of the United Church. A Celebration of Lorne’s life will be held on the May Saturday long weekend in Trail, BC, with details to follow closer to that time.
As the plight of many youth in the 30s and 40s, Lorne Ashman was unable to play competitive hockey but he often recalled playing “shinny” with his pals on natural ice, using Eaton’s catalogues for shin pads. He remained a passionate fan of the hockey all his life. In memoriam to Lorne, the family is setting up a fund, to be announced in May at the time of his Celebration, to sponsor disadvantaged youth to be able to access the sport.
To learn more about Lorne’s life, and to leave your condolences and thoughts about Lorne, please go to www.LorneAshman.blogspot.com the family is greatly appreciative of your kind thoughts and memories.
Final words to everyone from Lorne might be, “put ‘er there partner, take it easy, but take it.”