MERIDEN - Philip T. Ashton, 82, husband of Jane (Bishop) Ashton, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, January 27, 2017. He was born in Meriden on February 24, 1934 to the late Philip E. and Millicent M. Ashton. Philip was a graduate of Meriden High School, class of 1951 and Yale University class of 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He began his career in 1957 as a cadet engineer with Conn. Light & Power Co.. After holding various positions at CL&P and subsequently Northeast Utilities, Phil was selected Vice President of Transmission and Distribution in 1978 and in 1982 became Senior VP and General Manager of NU's Gas Business. In 1989 Phil was honored to be chosen Chief Executive Officer of newly incorporated Yankee Energy System Inc., a position he held until his retirement in March of 1995. Phil was very involved in his profession through many organizations including: registered Professional Engineer, Treasurer and Vice President of the Power Energy Society, President of the Guild of Gas Managers, Chairman of the New England Gas Association, Chairman of the Iroquois Pipeline Management Committee, and Director of the American Gas Association to mention only a few. Phil loved Meriden and his community by serving his neighbors and region. He held various positions at the American Red Cross, was an unbelievable 55 gallon donor, corporator of the Meriden Boy's Club, Director of Church Homes Inc., Founding Director of Conn. Capital Regional Growth Council and campaign co-chairman of United Way of Meriden & Wallingford. He was also a trustee of the First United Methodist Church of Meriden, member and later chairman of the Meriden Planning Commission, director of the Meriden Economic Development Commission, Chairman of the Meriden Flood Control Commission and appointed to the Connecticut Siting Council. See a short biography of Phil from his induction into the Meriden Hall of Fame in 1995 at: http://www.meridenhalloffame.org/Inductees/Year.asp?InductionYear=1995. He loved his family, talking about and volunteering in politics, studying history with a special affinity for Winston Churchill, and was fascinated with all things related to Bermuda. In addition to Jane, his wife of 60 years, Philip is survived by his four children and their spouses: Debbie and Tom Molloy of Meriden, Kate and Stephen Grice of Georgia, Bob and Susan Ashton of Virginia and Stuart and Krissi Ashton of New Jersey. Philip also had ten cherished grandchildren: Ryan and Daniel Molloy; Taylor and Nathan Grice; Catherine, Philip, Emily, and William Ashton; and Nicholas and Stefan Lazaroae. A memorial service honoring Philip's life will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 11am at the First United Methodist Church, 159 East Main St., Meriden. Burial will be private. The Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home, 48 Cook Ave. Meriden has been entrusted with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Phil's memory may be made to the Community Foundation of Central Connecticut (http://www.communityfoundationcc.org; 35 Pleasant St, Meriden, CT 06450).

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  1. Stuart and the Entire Ashton Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. It certainly looked like Phillip was someone special who showed the true meaning of caring for others. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this difficult time. May peace, love and each others strength be with you.

    In Friendship,

    Susan (Pickett) Kyhn

    Maloney Class of ’81

  2. Dear Jane & family, Phil was a great man and did so much for our church, and our community. He will definitely be missed. It is hard to imagine Meriden without him. He had a very purposeful life. Thinking of you all at this difficult time.

  3. Phil Ashton was an inspiration and the consummate neighbor. He

    was a big help to me early in my career, and it was always a pleasure to chat with Phil and Jane when they were out walking their dog, Jenny. On the business front he was a refreshing no-nonsense guy. Phil understood the flooding in Meriden was not just a downtown problem, but also required managing the water flow from the surrounding hanging hills. He worked tirelessly to implement an effective and comprehensive solution. I remember watching

    Phil, in his tie, running a tape measure along Washington Street. I also remember him jumping into action when a brush fire threatened neighbor’s homes; he helped guide the firefighters’ hoses and even manned a garden hose. I am happy I was able to tell him recently he was one of my heroes. It was genuine honor to help open up the Meriden Green bandshell with the playing of ‘The Ballad of Meriden Green’, written and led by Bruce Burchsted and dedicated to Phil. (You can view it on YouTube with Bruce’s slideshow.) Sending prayers to the entire Ashton clan. Rest easy Phil, your amazing work here is done, and has impacted generations.

  4. Phil was a man whom it was a pleasure and a privilege to know. His friends here in Bermuda, in whose number I was happy to count myself, will certainly miss him and his longtime enthusiasm for our little island and its history. My deepest condolences to Jane and the family at this sad time.

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