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Heart attack kills Darwen charity champion
A PROLIFIC Darwen charity supporter, mason and scout leader has died, aged 74.
Five-time president of Darwen Lions and Bold Venture Scout Group leader Ian Ashton, who held several positions at Darwen’s Masonic Lodge, suffered a heart attack and collapsed while on holiday in Wales.
The former agricultural merchant, who was also chairman of the Magic Eye Appeal, spent several days in the intensive care unit at Bangor Hospital before he died on Tuesday.
Mr Ashton leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Pat, with whom he formed Darwen Stroke Club several years ago.
She said: “The day after we had gone away on holiday I turned away and bang, he had gone.
“Ian was always thinking of other people, all his life, right up to the end. He was giving all the time and was a very noisy character.
"If he was in the room you knew about it. It will be very quiet without him. I shall miss him.”
Mrs Ashton met her husband while they were pupils at Darwen Technical School. They married at St Cuthbert’s Church, which is where the funeral will be held.
Coun Salim Sidat, a former president of Blackburn Lions, said he would miss his friend. He said: “It was one of the hardest days of my life when I went with Pat to say goodbye.
“It knocked me for six. We have known each other for eight years and we did so much together.
“He was an absolutely amazing guy. He was like a father figure to me. He had an opinion on everything, but in the right way. He always knew what to say.
Mr Ashton’s funeral is at 12.30pm next Thursday at St Cuthbert’s Church, followed by cremation at Pleasington and a wake at Darwen Masonic Hall, Hawkshaw Avenue, for a buffet.
There is a request for family flowers only. Donations can be made to the North Wales Air Ambulance and Bangor Hospital Intensive Care Unit.