Gary Leonard Ashburn died in his home Wednesday morning at the age of 45 following an 11 year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He grew up in Maryland, with a close-knit group of friends who were still an important part of his life. During his 6 years in the navy as a nuclear reactor operator he also discovered a passion for cave diving that lasted the rest of his life. He was in many ways the boy who never grew up. His passion for life, exploration, and his ability to focus on the things that gave him joy was central to everything he did. His passions included cave diving, computer programming, nuclear physics, gaming, and running RPGs. In his wife Kathleen he found a soul-mate to share those passions with, during their 11 years together. His death is a painful loss to those who loved him, because he touched so many lives with a generous, loving, compassionate spirit – and he was also one of the most strong-willed and stubborn people that most of us knew. He was noble to the core and his selfless attitude while facing his disease and impending death has been an inspiration to many.
Born 5/21/68 in Bethesda Maryland, Died 10/2/13 in Gainesville, Florida, Survived by his loving wife, Kathleen Seide-Ashburn, his parents Ronald and Pat Ashburn, his brother Stephen Ashburn, and his nephew Alexander Thomas Ashburn.
The family will receive friends Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 2:00-4:00 PM at the funeral home. Funeral Services will be on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Avenue, Gainesville, FL (352)378-2528.
Kathleen: so very sorry for your loss. I liked Gary and miss you guys cave diving. Again wishes for you and your family.
Thanks Bill, we’ve been missing you too. It’s been hard to be out of the caves for so long and I promised Gary I’d get back into it when I’m ready.
I always looked to Gary as a very special, experienced and knowledgeable cave diver. He was forever helpful when asked for any help, even when suffering. I admire his perseverance during years of battling this cancer. I’m also in awe of his wife’s steadfast devotion and support for him through all this. His memory will live on because he was an inspiration to all that knew him. Rest in Peace Gary. You deserve a rest now.
Kathleen sorry for your loss.Gary with the Lord now,no more pain. Just praying for you through this sad time.
To Kathleen, Paul and Bonnie Seide and the Ashburn family,
I’m sorry for your loss. Gary had such a great passion for live and strongest will to fight for it. He was determined and aggressive at everything he attempted. I enjoyed spending time diving with him and Kathleen. His warm smile was contagious, as was his laugh. His love for his wife and her devotion to him, in my opinion, go down as a true fairy tale. He will truly be missed.
My heart goes out to you and your family. I know that this has been a difficult time for all of you. Gary is now cancer free and without pain. Stay strong! Hugs to you!!!
We are so sorry to hear that Gary has passed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love Marianne & Steve Gamble
Kathleen, my condolences to you and your family.
I never met Gary in person, but we knew each other for over a decade on the Harn Forum. He was one of the people I hoped to meet in person at one of the yearly gatherings. That will never happen now and I feel the loss of it.
He will be missed.
My deepest condolences to Gary’s family.
I knew Gary only through our shared passion for gaming in Harn, and I only knew him online. He was a greatly respected figure in our fan community. His passion for and knowledge of our hobby earned him many friends, if I may use that term for people who never met in person. Though he proclaimed himself an elitist, he was far from that – friendly, intelligent and always willing to share his insights and ideas.
We will miss him.