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Tribute: former Progress owner passes away


"Clarin Ashby"

By Kevin Ashby former Emery County Progress publisher

It all happened pretty fast. I was playing golf with my dad about four weeks ago, with him hitting much more consistently and therefore winning. And this week, on Wednesday, we will be attending his funeral.
I don’t use editorial space to tribute many people as there are far too many people deserving the tribute, but I cannot forgo the opportunity to say something about my dad, Clarin Ashby whom many knew as a publisher, business owner, author, pilot, Stake Patriarch, friend and a willing neighbor ready to serve.
Clarin started his newspaper career when he purchased the Emery County Progress in 1956 in Castle Dale. He learned quickly that there are usually two sides to every story or issue and the newspaper was the place where these issues were discussed.
He learned that small rural communities needed a voice that was fair if they were going to be successful and that newspapers offered a tradition of successful attempts of promoting community improvements. And he loved it.
In 1965 Clarin had the opportunity to purchase the Uintah Basin Standard and the move to Roosevelt proved to be not only a chance to move back home to where his family homesteaded, but move to a place where his children could excel and become all they could be. And he loved it here also.
He loved his job so well that in his 23 years of being a publisher he wrote a weekly editorial as well as a personal column known as I DeeClair by Clarin Dee Ashby. And the tradition of excellent news reporting continued as he was awarded all kind of plaques and accolades for his writing, photography, layout and design skills and for overall excellence in service to his communities.
His dedication to community only matched others in the community who wanted something better for themselves and their families. Clarin was quick to learn that a lot of progress can be experienced if he and his newspapers could take on the support role to forward thinking ideas. He had incredible timing when it came to editorially supporting good ideas, or coming out against something after reviewing the pros and cons.
Not always was he greeted around the communities here with open arms and smiles, but nobody could claim being mistreated by Clarin. I have seen his work ethic and his desire to make it right for anything that might have gone wrong. Honesty was his mantra. It was part of his DNA. It was appreciated by those who worked with him.
All anyone has to do is read back over the pages of the Emery County Progress or the Uintah Basin Standard, and you will see the subtle hints for change in the headlines and stories as well as his editorials and columns. He submerged himself in learning the facts about every issue. He surrounded himself with good and honest people who were also interested in community progress. And then he let the newspaper help these causes move ahead.
With that being said, I would like to move forward to what happened over the past three weeks and what may be very common to many of you, but new territory for me, that of taking care of a senior citizen with dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as just being diagnosed with cancer.
Only a few weeks ago dad was living at home, and suddenly we are placing him in a rehabilitation facility where his capacity to process life’s instructions was reduced almost daily. Dad and I went from daily conversations to small segments of time during a day where I felt he actually understood.
I learned that I was not prepared for this experience.
But I would like to point out that the care my dad received by dedicated nurses and doctors was amazing. Even in times when dad was not all that willing to help out in any stretch of the imagination, they did their jobs with loving patience, allowing not only the patient, but family members the opportunity to reflect on better times and places as circumstances were slowly changing the makeup of our family.
Every community has its heroes and movers and shakers of previous periods of time who are now old and infirmed and quieted by old age. May we take the time to remember them and honor their achievements. May we be patient with them and treat them with love and interest.
May we treat them with the respect they deserve, because soon, very soon for some, they will be gone.

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