DR. GEOFFREY C. ASHTON
Dr. Geoffrey C. Ashton died suddenly in Honolulu on June 18, 2012. He was born in Croydon, England on July 5, 1925, but spent most of his childhood in Liverpool where he attended the Liverpool Collegiate School and the University of Liverpool. He earned a B.Sc. in Zoology and then went to work for Lever Brothers in Liverpool and a hospital in Birmingham before moving to Canada, where he worked at the Connaught Research Laboratories at the University of Toronto. He soon returned to England to marry Joy Stanley on February 17, 1951 and subsequently took research positions with Glaxo and later the Animal Health Trust. In 1958, Geoff was ready for a new adventure so he sought a position with the Australian government. He was hired, so Joy and Geoff moved their young family to Rockhampton, Australia where he conducted research aimed at developing cattle breeds adapted to tropical climates. In 1960, he earned the first Ph.D. awarded externally by the University of Liverpool, which also awarded him a D.Sc. in 1967 in recognition of excellence in published research.
In 1964, Geoff joined the University of Hawaii as a faculty member in the Department of Genetics, where he worked until retiring in 1997. He was part of the original faculty of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and served as department chair for Genetics for more than 15 years, He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the Manoa Campus during the 1970s and continued to serve on various campus committees and work groups after returning to the Genetics department. His international reputation resulted in requests to deliver presentations at professional conferences around the globe.
Geoff never lost his love of travel and, with Joy, visited more than one hundred countries and all seven continents. In retirement, he took leadership roles in the Adventurers’ Club of Honolulu and was an active member of the British Commonwealth Club of Hawaii and in the Zone 12 Photo Club.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joy; daughters Carolyn (David) Gire, Kathryn (Bill) Sthay, Dr. Melinda Ashton (Dr. Ken Perske); son Jon Ashton and daughter-in-law Diane Ashton; grandchildren Julian, Jennifer and Christopher Gire, Adam (Allison) Sthay, Samantha (Sean) Fannon, Scott Perske, and Geoffrey M. and Lindsey Ashton; great-grandson Ashton Sthay. He is also survived by brother Derek H. Ashton, nephew Jeremy and niece Melanie of the U.K
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be sent to the University of Hawaii Foundation at P.O. Box 11720, Honolulu, HI 96828 to benefit the Dr. Geoffrey C. Ashton Memorial Fund at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. No services.