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Trail Champion Honored Memorial Service Pays Tribute To Activist Denny Ashlock

Denny Ashlock’s family and friends could have been describing the Centennial Trail as they sang the first verse of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” at his memorial service Saturday.

“The purple hooded mountain,

The river running by,

The sunset and the morning,

That brightens up the sky.”

It was an appropriate tribute to a man who played a major role in building the popular trail along the Spokane River.

Ashlock, who died Dec. 30 of cardiac arrhythmia at age 59, was remembered during a formal service at St. John’s Cathedral in Spokane.

As testimony to his many community activities, the oak pews were filled with business leaders, trail builders, school officials, Ashlock’s Liberty Lake neighbors and uniformed Valley firefighters.

Although his accomplishments weren’t mentioned during the 20-minute service, those in the cathedral remembered.

They remembered his efforts to clean up Liberty Lake by spearheading construction of sewers in the 1980s.

They remembered his telephone calls and faxes, urging them to support construction of a park at the former site of Walk in the Wild zoo. They remembered his campaigning to change the county charter, or to provide more tax money for schools and the county’s juvenile detention center.

Firefighter and former state Rep. George Orr remembered Ashlock not just for his campaigns for fire levies, but as the insurance man who provided cut-rate coverage for the Santa float firefighters drive through Valley neighborhoods each December. “He was a great champion,” Orr said after the service.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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