Sept. 26, 1935 — Sept. 15, 2012)
If ever there was a rags to riches story of a man who prevailed over his circumstances, it was the life of Bruce Ashwill. Born in Lyndon, Kansas, to Jim and Lois Ashwill, Bruce spent most of his life in California, the state that he loved. As a young man he shined shoes for sailors and he worked in a bed spring factory and a service station. He ran a regimental post office for the Army, later graduating from UCLA under the GI Bill. After his time in the army and at the university, he sold insurance and worked for a realtor, where he learned the fundamentals he would need to start what would become the third largest commercial real estate company in California: Ashwill-Burke. This is a company he started along with his brother Gene and partner Bill Burke.
In 1980 Bruce started another commercial real estate company, Bishop-Hawk, which he sold to Grubb & Ellis two decades later. At this point he considered himself retired, although he started two more real estate companies after Bishop-Hawk. Over the course of his life, he had started 10 different companies, developed and constructed numerous projects and buildings, started clubs and organizations and helped train thousands of people in the real estate profession. He was highly involved in politics and a supporter of conservative Republicans. He collected and sponsored the construction of fun and whimsical art pieces, many of which found their home on his ranch.
Next to real estate, one of Bruce’s favorite pastimes was playing and working on his 600-acre ranch in Shingle Springs where he resided. He loved his family. Prior to his death, he was married to his wife Barbara for more than 50 years. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; his brothers, Gene and Terry; his children, Cabot, Lauren and Tyler; and eight grandchildren.
On Sept. 15, 2012, Bruce finally succumbed to a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Five years prior, he had been baptized by his own son and now he resides in glory. A memorial service will be held for Bruce at Discovery Hills Church, 4270 Shingle Springs Drive in Shingle Springs, Calif., on Oct. 8, at 10:30 a.m. Reception will follow the service at Serrano Country Club. For more information contact Deirdre Shine at 530-677-2945, extension 0, or Deirdre@abornpowers.com.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Discovery Hills Youth Center, 4270 Shingle Springs Drive, Shingle Springs, CA 95682.