Brigham Young's Great-Granddaughter Passes Away In Chattanooga

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - by Phil Smartt

Mrs. Ruth Card Ashby, great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, peacefully passed away on Monday in Chattanooga. She was 101 years old.

Brigham Young was known as the Great Colonizer of the American West, and second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He supervised the trek of thousands of religious refugees across the western frontier of the United States where they established successful settlements.  He served two terms as the territorial governor of Utah and assisted in building telegraph and railroad lines, and America’s first department store (mormon.org).  He was a proponent of giving women the right to vote.  He founded Brigham Young University, and the University of Utah. His statue is in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.  But about his accomplishments, Brigham Young said, “I do not care what men say about me.  I want my character to stand fair in the eyes of my Heavenly Father” (quoted in Arrington, American Moses). Brigham Young was a prophet who built “beyond himself.”  Shortly after entering the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young said, “Here we will build the temple of our God.” 

Construction of the Salt Lake Temple commenced in 1853 and was completed in 1893.  Almost 80 years ago, Ruth Card married William C. Ashby in the Salt Lake Temple for time and eternity.  Like her great-grandfather, Mrs. Ashby was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She was a graduate of Brigham Young University, a devoted wife, homemaker and missionary.  She and Will served as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida, Tennessee and in Mauritius – an Indian Ocean island nation. Ruth grew up in Cardston, Alberta, Canada in a little house on the corner.  Of her idyllic childhood, she said she never heard a disagreement between her parents, Joseph Young Card and Pearl Eliza Christensen Card.  In her golden years, Ruth was blessed to live with her son, Eric, and his wife, Florence Pratt Ashby.  

Mrs. Ruth Ashby is survived by her children, William Card (Claire) Ashby of Draper, Utah; Arda Ruth (Ian) Shields of BC, Canada; Erin K. Ashby of Galesville, Al.; Eric (Florence) Ashby of Chattanooga; and Dr. Eda Ashby of Rexburg, Id.  She is also survived by her siblings, Marie Burnham; Rhea Matkin; and Lincoln Card; 24 grandchildren; and over 70 great-grandchildren.  Ruth’s husband preceded her in death but welcomed her home on Dec. 10.  Especially during Christmas, we give thanks for the Resurrection and Atonement of Jesus Christ who rose triumphant from the grave.  Because of the Risen Christ, “death is swallowed up in victory,” and all is well (1 Corinthians 15:54).   

Funeral services for Mrs. Ashby will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3067 Ooltewah Ringgold Road.  Burial will be in the American Fork City Cemetery, American Fork, Utah.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to www.ldsphilanthropies.org.


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