George Ashenfelter, 77

George Baker Ashenfelter, 77, of Broken Bow, passed away March 12, 2014, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.  He was born in Pennsylvania, Nov. 13, 1936, to Minnie Jane and Robert Hewlett Ashenfelter, the second of two children.  He was married to Penny Purcell on June 24, 1967, in Broken Bow. They lived in New Jersey, New York, Virginia and California before returning to Broken Bow.  George graduated from West Chester University and received a B.A. in Education, and an M.B.A. in Computer Finance from Kennedy Western University.  He enlisted in the Army where he realized that his passion and ability to teach could open doors in his future. In the Army he was involved with analog computers and missile training. George’s work included programing, engineering, and development of software, that was critical to the achievements of many intelligence related programs. His career with information technology was with the following companies: Informatics, Boeing, and Booz-Allen and Hamilton where he was a civilian government contractor for 40 years. George was a loving husband to the love of his life, Penny. He was a caring father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to many. He will be remembered as a true gentleman that had a zest for life. He loved to golf, play bridge, listen to music, dance and he really enjoyed food. His kindness and joking manner will be long remembered by his family and friends. If you ever wondered where chocolate milk came from, well a brown cow of course.   Through his entire life he had a big heart and was ready with a laugh to share. To the very end George loved his music and would whistle a little ditty. The secret he shared with the boys, “Only the Shadow Knows” could elicit a smile and a chuckle. The people at Heritage Hall were like family to the end. We cannot thank you enough for the care that you provided for him and the support that you provided us! George was preceded in death by his mother and father, Robert and Minnie Ashenfelter; step-father, William Stewart; and brother, Robert Ashenfelter. George is survived by his wife of 47 years, Penny; his children, son, Andy (Jill) Ashenfelter of Lexington Park, MD; daughter, Keely (Bill) Butler, of Broken Bow; sister-in-law, Alice Ashenfelter of Doylestown, Penn.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Robert (Linda) Purcell of Palatine, IL; sister-in-law- and brother-in-law Deb (Norm) McCaslin of Broken Bow; brother-in-law and sister-law James (Lynne) Purcell of Tucson, Ariz.; his  grandchildren, Tanner and Tristan Butler of Broken Bow, and Nicholas and Karalyn Ashenfelter of Lexington Park, MD; and many loving nieces, nephews and caring friends. There was a celebration of his life and work on March 19, 2014, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Broken Bow with the Rev. Mary Jane Gockley officiating. The family received family and friends the evening before at the Broken Bow Country Club. A register book may be signed online at Memorials may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 620 No. 10th Ave., Broken Bow, NE 68822; or to Alzheimer’s Association great Plains chapter, 1500 South 70th Street #201, Lincoln, NE 68506. Published in Custer County Chief, March 20, 2014