Nov 062013

Sandra Lou Ashton, 66, passed away peacefully at her home Sunday morning, Nov. 3, 2013. She was born to Doug and June Long in 1946 in Berkeley, Calif. The family moved to various places as her dad served as a pilot in the Navy. She enjoyed her younger siblings, Linda (David) Gough of American Fork, Utah; Brian (Terry) Long of Alpine, Utah; and Kevin (LeeAnne) Long of Tucson. Her parents currently reside in Gold Canyon. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in Education from Brigham Young University in 1968, graduating with distinction.
She married Del Nichols, whom she met at BYU, in 1969. They started their family while in Memphis, Tenn., where her parents lived at that time. There they met and became dear friends with Craig and Debby West, while both were in dental school. Del first practiced in San Diego for a short stint in the Navy. They moved to Snowflake in 1976 to establish a dental office, as they were working as a team doing all the paperwork and advertising for the fledgling new business.
The family consists of Dee (Iulia) Nichols of Phoenix; Doug (Cyndee) Nichols of Taylor; Tiffany (Charlie) Ballard of Casa Grande; Heather (Matthew) Johnson of Lake Elsinore, Calif; Deana (Drew) Griffin of Snowflake; Kami (Bryson) McHardy of Orem, Utah; Adam (Celeste) Nichols of Henderson, Nev.; Jeremy (Kelly) of Humboldt; and 27 grandchildren.
The marriage dissolved in 1997 wherein she supported the family by teaching at Snowflake High School. Feeling a yearning to do more she studied to become a nurse, graduating with highest honors from Northland Pioneer College Class of 2003. She worked at Navapache Hospital and Hospice RTA retiring at the end of 2005.
She met the dream of her life, David Ashton, in 2004 and they married in August when Adam came home from his mission to Brazil. A year later in August they were sealed in the Snowflake Temple when Jeremy came home from his mission to New Zealand.
They lived such a joyful life until June 2006 when she was diagnosed with cancer of the blood, Myelodysplastic Syndrome. Under going a stem cell transplant in July 2006, with a perfect blood match from her sister Linda, she prevailed through all the side affects of the Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), the new blood attacking her system. She endured severe dental work, cataract surgeries, two hip operations, two back surgeries, nose surgery, shoulder replacement and in the past four years, five bouts with pneumonia. It was the last bout that finally became too much for her.
Sandy was a renowned organizer who kept all the kids on schedule or task. While doing this she made sure that each felt important and that each were winners, which they are all to this day. She served in various capacities in the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints including Primary, Relief Society and Sunday School. She had a deep conviction of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of the Plan of Salvation. She bore this testimony often to her children, her wonderful grandchildren (whom she loved dearly) and as she taught the adults in Sunday School. Over the years she organized a large file of television movies on video, picture albums for each of her children, a picture history of her dad and mom, filled a half dozen or so journals and a two hundred page life history complete with 660 pictures. This labor of love showed the importance of family, and she wanted it preserved for all her posterity to read, remember and remind them of our eternal family.
A reserved person by nature, she came to love those she met and associated with at school, work, church and her beloved neighbors. All who knew her were elevated with a new appreciation for life as she expressed such positive thoughts about the greatness of life. She will be truly missed, but not forgotten.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Snowflake. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, at the Snowflake Main Street Chapel Relief Society Room, and one hour prior to services at the Main Street Chapel. Interment will be in the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake.
In lieu of flowers send donations to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Missionary Fund.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Snowflake was in charge of the arrangements.