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Horticulture professor Dick Ashley dies

by Ashley Sporleder - April 14, 2008

Richard “Dick” Ashley, professor of horticulture and vegetable crops specialist, died March 26. He was 68.

Ashley specialized in weed-crop competition, nutrient management, protected vegetable culture, sustainable agriculture, and developing integrated pest management curriculum for primary schools.

He wrote, published, and edited many refereed journal articles and proceedings, and taught undergraduate courses on horticulture production, garden center management, and marketing for nearly 35 years.

Ashley coordinated the Integrated Pest Management Program from 1996 to 2003, and twice served as acting head of the plant science department.

Derek Allinson, emeritus professor of plant science, calls him an “all-round, very fine faculty member who served the department well.”

In addition to teaching, Ashley was passionate about research.

“He attempted and was successful in providing answers to problems faced by many vegetable growers not just in Connecticut, but throughout New England,” Allinson says. “He was a consummate professional.”

Ashley contributed many articles to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and also served as its editor for several years.

He was secretary-treasurer of the Northeast Weed Science Society and was awarded the society’s Distinguished Member Award. He also was a member of the steering committee for the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers’ Conference.

Ashley was active in the community, and served on the Coventry Republican Town Committee, the Coventry Board of Education, and the Coventry Town Council. He also served for many years as a dean at the Presbyterian Church of Coventry. In addition to horticulture, his interests included war history and battle strategies, coins, stamps, and sports.

After retiring from UConn in 2003, he enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife Sandra, two children, and three grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.


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