George Turner Ashby
“My brother was a Siberian tiger. He attacked life with ferocity unmatched by anyone else I know. He lived with passion and purpose though a bit overzealous at times, well ahead of his years. My brother was a philosopher, challenging the status quo and offering new insights. My brother was a realist, a term often thought to be pessimist, who recognized that ideas were nothing without pragmatic application. My brother was a student, an athlete, a musician, a political analyst, a traveler, a friend; he was a connoisseur of life itself. His exuberance inspired me and caused me to criticize my own apathy. He held himself to a very high standard, and I try to do the same. My brother could have changed the world, but unfortunately, he never got the chance.”
George Turner Ashby was born January 13, 1986. Two brothers would join him in 1988 and 1992. As a family with three boys life was busy and loud with lots of interests in science and sports and music. Always there was music. Turner’s music interest began after watching the fiddler in a bluegrass band. So at the age of 6 he started violin lessons. That fiddle was his first instrument. We still have it today. Sometime in middle school he asked for a bass guitar and then in high school he started figuring out how to play the drums and guitar. This was before YouTube made it so easy. For graduation he designed a beautiful custom Martin guitar. His guitar became his closest friend. He was rarely seen without one for the rest of his days. He said “Music makes me whole.”
Turner started playing soccer on the YMCA Mighty Jets team at the age of 5. He was hooked on the game that first day. He played on various teams for the next 14 years and loved every minute of it. You could see his quick mind working on game strategy. One of his coaches said he played with his head, not just his body. As Captain of his senior soccer team at Ridgeview High School, he earned the respect and admiration of his teammates. One of them, Patrick Callihan, wrote this: “Turner exemplified what a true leader is by his words and actions. He taught me to treat everyone fairly, exclude no one, never give up, and play with a smile on my face.”
Turner was full of faith and questions, intellect and opinion, intensity and wit, friendship and family, love and respect for many. But most of all, Turner’s life is remembered for music and passion. Music made him whole and passion gave him life. He was passionate about loyalty and genuineness is his relationships. He was passionate about the freedoms we enjoy. He was passionate about living a life that counted for something good. He once said that he would rather be known as good than nice because anyone can be nice, but not everyone can be good. Turner is remembered as being true to himself.