Bruce “Kirk” Ashton

Bruce “Kirk” Ashton, 83, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2024, at his home in Santa Fe, TX. He was born on December 10, 1940, in Belleville, KS, to Keith and Bertha Ashton. Kirk proudly reminisced about his time as a member of the undefeated Belleville Buffalo football team of 1957. After serving in the Army, he married the love of his life, Liz Budler, and together they started a family. Kirk graduated with a Masters in Communications from Ft. Hays State University in Hays, KS, in 1969, marking the beginning of his career in higher education. He taught communications and served as a debate coach at Garden City Kansas Community College and Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

Kirk is preceded in death by his parents, son Kent Ashton, granddaughter Marissa Plumlee, and sister-in-law Anita Dillwood.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Liz; his daughters, Kim Plumlee (Robert) of Stilwell, KS and Kris Kimbark of La Marque, TX; grandchildren, Veronica Plumlee (Derek) of Canal Winchester, OH; Ashton Kimbark of La Marque, TX; Mary Kimbark (Miguel) of Galveston, TX, and Nikki Kimbark of La Marque, TX; his favorite brother Craig Ashton (Linda) of Topeka, KS, and in-laws: Mike Budler (Mary) Lincoln, NE; Cathy Martin (Jerry), South Lake Tahoe, CA; Rose Wallman (Dave), Lincoln NE; Joe Budler (Jo), Auburn, KS; Jeanne Budler, Hebron, NE; Marvin Dillwood, Lincoln, NE; Patricia Little (Timothy), St. Louis, MO; many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, and lifelong friends.

Kirk was a down-to-earth, compassionate man with a heart of gold. He always prioritized maintaining relationships with friends, family, and former students. He had a passion for family, classic cars, KU basketball, and chocolate.

Celebration of life will be held at 2pm Wednesday May 15 2024, at Crowder Funeral Home in Dickinson TX. Memorial donations can be made to the Kirk Ashton Scholarship Fund at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.


  1. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Let the good memories help you through the tough days. He will be missed and remembered.

    Jane and Bob Pattersonq
  2. Kirk was my debate coach at Garden City Junior College. He was a fun-loving guy with a compassionate heart. I’ll always remember the kindness he showed when my Dad died in 1974. My sincere condolences to Liz and the rest of the family.

    J.R. Sparke
  3. Dear Liz and Family, 5-15-2024

    We were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Kirk. Our hearts goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. Please accept our sincerest condolences.

    Losing someone we love is never easy, and I can only imagine the pain and grief you must be feeling. Please know that you are not alone in your sorrow, and that through your and our prayers may God offer you support and comfort!

    Kirk was a remarkable individual. We are impressed by his brief career as an auctioneer and by his successful tenure as a debate college professor. He made a significant impact on the lives of those around him. His dedication to his profession and his passion for teaching were evident in his accomplishments and the lives he touched.

    I also want to acknowledge the special bond Kirk had with his family. As the oldest of 13 cousins (of son’s & daughters of the Joe E Kasha and Antonia M Schindler Kasha Family), Kirk held a special place as a leader within the family. His presence will be deeply missed, and he will be remembered!

    Kirk and Liz adventures in retirement, traveling the country together, speak to the love and joy They shared in each other’s company. They seldom missed a family reunion, a wedding or a funeral, even with a wheel chair in tow! Your experiences and memories will continue to live on in your and our memory!

    During this time of mourning, may God’s blessings bring you comfort and peace. Kirk will always be remembered as a loving husband, Father, granddad and a dedicated professional, and the 1st cousin of the Kasha family.

    Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May the memories of Kirk’s love and the strength of your family help you through this difficult time.

    With deepest sympathy,
    Joe and Cathy Kasha
    Maryann and Stan Kemph

    Joe kasha
  4. Kirk was a fine gentleman, mento and educator. Rest peaceful Kirk.

    Don Roat
  5. Prayers go out to you and your family. There are many fond memories of our class of 1958. Carol Burandt Danielson

    Carol Danielson
  6. Kirk was my Debate coach at Garden City. He was a great coach and he made the Debate trips fun. I cant think of a better person to drive the Golden Goose! Kirk was an inspiration and he was instrumental in my decision to become a high school Debate coach. Thank you Kirk.

    Dennis Richards

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