Wendell J. Ashton

From MormonWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Wendell J Ashton.jpg

Wendell J. Ashton was a journalist and publisher and executive vice presidentof the Deseret News. He was also director of the Public Communications Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Ashton was born on October 13, 1912. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Utah. He was a Utah finalist for a Rhodes scholarship in 1933. From 1931 to 1934, Ashton was a reporter for the Salt Lake Telegram.

He was managing editor of the Deseret News from 1947 to 1948. He worked for Gillham Advertising from 1950 to 1972 and became one of its executive officers after his first year. He was vice president of the company when he became director of Public Affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ. He was publisher of the Deseret News from 1978 to 1985.

In 1985, he became president of the England London Mission. He had served as a missionary to the British Isles and was a companion to Gordon B. Hinckley. While serving as a missionary, he edited the Millennial Star, the Church's oldest periodical.

Ashton also served on the Sunday School general board for twenty-one years and served as general secretary of the Sunday School and served as associate editor of The Instructor, the magazine of the Sunday School, until the Church Magazines were reconfigured in 1971. He was one of the original Regional Representatives called in 1967.

Ashton served as national president of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers in 1947 and organized the 1947 commemoration of the trek of the Mormon Pioneers from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City.

He served in the Salt Lake community and was head of the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a key backer of the Utah Symphony and participated in the relocation of the Utah Jazz to Utah from New Orleans. In 1985, the Chamber of Commerce awarded him the “A Giant in Our City” award.

Ashton authored several books, including Voice in the West: The Biography of a Pioneer Newspaper.

Ashton and his first wife, Marian Reynolds, were the parents of six children. Following her death in 1963, he married Belva Barlow and had one daughter. He passed away on August 31, 1995, after a series of strokes.

His father, Marvin O. Ashton, served in the Presiding Bishopric and one of his younger brothers, Marvin J. Ashton was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve.