Cover photo for Ashton Christal Lawrence  Jr.'s Obituary
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Ashton Christal Lawrence Jr.

December 10, 1935 — October 11, 2022


Ashton Christal Lawrence Jr., 86, passed away October 11, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.

Ashton and his wife Linda Kay will be laid to rest together in Leavenworth National Cemetery in Leavenworth, Kansas on Friday, October 28, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.

Ashton Christal Lawrence Jr., known to all of his friends as Chris, was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His teen years were spent in the Berkshires of CT while attending the Hotchkiss School.

Upon graduation he attended the University of Connecticut for a year after being selected as a 1st alternative for West Point. In 1955 he was appointed to West Point and graduated in 1959. He selected Field Artillery as his basic branch and Aviation as his specialty. While attending the Officer’s Basic Course at Ft. Sill, OK, he met his wife, Linda Jones, and they were married in August, 1960 while he attended flight school.

While stationed in HI with the 25th Aviation Company, his first daughter, Lisa, was born. His second daughter, Kristen, was born at Ft. Sill, OK while was attending the Officer’s Advanced Course. Chris had a robust military career including many research and development programs. He started his career at Ft. Benning, GA, developing plans for testing the 11th Airborne Division concept. Upon activation of the Division he became a Caribou pilot and flew in support of the test program. He flew the caribou in two tours during the Vietnam War. After his second tour in Vietnam, Chris and his family were stationed in Des Plaines, IL and he served as XO of an innovated ROTC program at Loyola University and obtained his Master’s Degree in internal relations. His next assignment took the family back to Ft. Sill, OK where he was assigned to research and development in a new drone program. He always maintained his major contribution to the service was his work in the development of an innovative drone program, Aquila, though never activated was a precursor to what we see today in the drone field. After an unaccompanied tour to Turkey as commander of troops in support of the NATO troops in Ismer, he finished his military at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. He retired from active duty in Dec 1981 as a Lt Col.

He went on to have a second career as Administrative Officer of the Mental Retardation Research Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City where he served for 20 years. In April 2001, he retired for a second time to the family’s 10-acre “ranch” in Olathe, KS. Chris and Linda enjoyed riding their horses. Linda rode dressage and Chris competed in long distance trail competitive programs. After he lost Linda in 2014, he moved to Tall Grass with his beloved cats in Jan 2015. He enjoyed the good life there with no responsibilities beyond playing bridge, cribbage and building intricate model ships. As the old saying goes, old soldiers never die, he just faded away…to join the Long Grey Line.

Ashton is preceded in death by his wife Linda Kay Lawrence.
He is survived by his daughters Lisa Lawrence Gilliam, her husband Mark J. Harvey and Kristen Lawrence Swanson; his grandchildren: Charles Swanson, Kyle Swanson, Tyler Gilliam, Alex Swanson, and Jacob Gilliam. Two great grandchildren, Piper Swanson and Noah Schoening and his sisters, Mary Glasse and Helen Calabrese.

Chris’ family would like memorial contributions made to Wayside Waifs.


Wayside Waifs
3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City MO 64137
Tel: 1-816-761-8151

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ashton Christal Lawrence Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, October 28, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

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Leavenworth National Cemetery

150 Muncie Road
Leavenworth, KS 66048

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