Richard Paul Ashcraft, Lawrence, KS, was born March 27, 1935 in Ness City, Kansas to Cloyd Pennington and Ruby Owens Pennington. As a toddler, Dick’s father died and he was adopted by Willard Lee and Ruth Orr Ashcraft. Dick grew up in Newton, Kansas, attending Cooper Elementary School, Newton Junior High and graduating from Newton High School in 1953. He enjoyed his high school years, especially playing trumpet in the band and serving as a drum major. Class reunions were a highlight of his later years and he surely enjoyed his tight-knit graduating class. Dick served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1958 on active duty, followed by two years of inactive duty.
Dick was married to Susan Fagan Ashcraft, his tennis partner. She survives. To this happy union were born James Richard Ashcraft and Erin Sue Ashcraft, who survive, of Lawrence. Other survivors include sister Elaine Dill of Hugoton, Kansas, and numerous nephews and nieces. Dick was preceded in death by eight brothers and sisters in the Pennington family. Ashcrafts preceding Dick in death were: brothers Glen, Carroll, and Leroy, all of Newton, and sister Norma, of Hesston.
Dick worked at many jobs, including positions with Pepsi Cola, Santa Fe Railroad, Household Finance, Douglas County Bank, and Berry Plastics. His true calling was as a husband and father, and he excelled at those vocations. His interests included golf, tennis, traveling, reading, cheering on his kids in their many endeavours, and following Sue wherever she took him. He was a founding member of the Zigfield Vollies volleyball team and spent many years proudly ushering at home KU sporting events.
Dick passed away on November 18, 2020. A celebration of his life will be scheduled in the future when it is safe to gather. Memorials to Dick are welcome to the Douglas County 4-H Foundation, in care of the K-State Research and Extension, Douglas County, 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, KS 66046.