Charles Hugh Ashmore
April 3, 1947 - July 12, 2023
In Loving Memory
Charles Hugh Ashmore
Charles “Charlie” Hugh Ashmore was a fascinating original thinker who faced his life challenges head on. He passed away peacefully with his daughters at his side, July 12, 2023.
Charlie was the eldest son of Dorothy Brand and Hoyt “Red” Ashmore. He was born in Georgia and grew up in Renton, Washington. He was an older brother to his two sisters Ellen and Pat. Charlie’s mother, Dorothy, encouraged him to be independent and self-sufficient from a very young age. He had his first job at age 14 at the local grocery store to help support his family. His childhood helped set the foundation for his strong and resilient nature.
Charlie excelled in academics, pole vaulting, gymnastics and track throughout high school and college, winning multiple state and local competitions. While attending the University of Washington to obtain a degree in Mathematics, he met Linda, whom he married, and shortly after, his eldest daughter Laura was born. Charlie and Linda were 20 and 19 at the time!
Charlie’s sense of adventure was soon evident as Charlie and Linda departed the US and drove to Canada in July of 1972. They settled in the beautiful Bella Coola Valley, where they lived a homesteading lifestyle and Charlie started his career in construction and project management. Shortly after they arrived, their second daughter, SkyBlue was born in a one-room mountain cabin. Charlie and Linda separated in 1975, yet remained good friends. Charlie was a dedicated father to his daughters and they remained very close throughout his lifetime. He often said that his daughters were his “biggest accomplishments”.
In 1978-1983, Charlie lived in Whistler, BC where he started his company Tusk Construction and was involved in the initial development of the Whistler Town Centre. Returning to Bella Coola in 1982, he continued with construction and project management and was responsible for building many notable projects in the community, such as the Hagensborg grocery store, Acwsalcta High School, Bella Coola Co-op expansion, West Coast Helicopters Hangar, Bella Coola Hospital addition and the Nurses Residence. After relocating to Vernon in 1999, Charlie built his last major construction project, the Kalamalka Secondary School expansion.
Charlie was always interested in learning new things and keeping up with changing times. He moved to Kelowna in 2000, bought his first computer and attended Sprott- Shaw College to earn a diploma in Information Technology. He soon became an instructor, teaching project management and computer programs internationally.
It was in Kelowna that Charlie met the love of his life, Kathy Collins. The happiness they found with each other was immense and they soon added their beloved boxer Max to the family. Charlie and Kathy relocated to Lumby in 2012. Sadly, Kathy passed away soon after in 2013. This was perhaps one of the hardest years for Charlie, and he credited his daughters, his dog Max and his cat Kitty for helping him get through this extremely difficult time. Charlie and Kathy had eight wonderful years together camping, exploring, gardening and enjoying life with a shared love of health, wellness and nature.
Shortly after this, Charlie became a founding member and long-time volunteer of the Monashee Community Co-op. His experience in project management, Information Technology, and holistic health made him a great asset to the Co-op. This community provided a strong social connection and much happiness and fulfillment to Charlie in the last 10 years of his life.
Charlie was always extremely goal focused, determined to learn new things and follow his passions. Some notable endeavors included getting his pilot’s license and building a plane, learning to ride horses and owning a horse, skydiving, karate, gymnastics, motorcycle riding, physical fitness and weight lifting. He served as the president of Kelowna Toastmasters and was on the board of the Monashee Co-op. He always described every obstacle or challenge as a learning experience.
Charlie had a love of walking for his health and well-being. He could be seen walking around Lumby and on the local Salmon Trail daily. Every visit with his daughters included a walk on the Salmon Trail, breakfast at Jitterbeans, and a visit to the Co-op to meet his friends.
Laura and Sky would like to thank their family and friends, the people of Monashee Community Co-op, and the Lumby community who have supported them through this very difficult time. They would also like to acknowledge the nurses, physicians, and support staff of the Cardiac Care Unit at Kelowna General Hospital, staff from Vernon Royal Jubilee Hospital Emergency Department and local paramedics. Special thanks to JoeAnna’s House who provided a wonderful accommodation for Charlie’s daughters during his last days.
Charlie was a kind, thoughtful and unique man who will be greatly missed. “It’s better to fail in originality then to succeed in imitation” – Herman Melville
A Celebration of Life for Charlie will be held on August 3, 2023 from 2-4 pm at the White Valley Community Center in Lumby, BC. Sharing of memories and stories is welcome.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers to send any contributions to Monashee Community Co-Op in Lumby, BC. [email protected]
Arrangements entrusted to
Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-558-0866
Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services: