A devoted retired employee of the University of La Verne who worked in the Office of Information Technology, Joanne Ashcroft, died April 12. She was 73 years old.
Joanne Ashcroft was employed at the University for over 28 years.
She began working in the data processing department before it became the Office of Information Technology. She worked her way up and became part of the team that developed the University’s different programs. Joanne Ashcroft had different titles as the IT department grew.
Todd Britton, the vice president and chief information officer of the Office of Information Technology, said before his time Joanne Ashcroft was the go-to person in IT.
“She was the help desk, delivered computer systems and troubleshooting problems,” Britton said.
Britton worked with Joanne Ashcroft from 2008 until she retired in 2016. He said Joanne Ashcroft was always kind and helpful with a lot of institutional knowledge. When he started working at ULV, Joanne Ashcroft provided information on whom to contact if he needed something.
“She was always willing to help out to ensure that you were going to be successful,” Britton said.
Her daughter Veronica Ashcroft said her mother was in asset management when she retired. She kept track of the buildings and what was in each building.
“She was a hard worker, driven and dedicated to La Verne,” Veronica Ashcroft said.
Avo Kechichian, the vice president of administration and finance said he worked with Joanne Ashcroft in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. They worked together when the IT office was located in Woody Hall. He reflects on a time when Joanne Ashcroft was the only person running the IT office.
“She was hard-working,” Kechichian said. “With the constant changes in technology, she tried to learn the new advanced systems.”
Kechichian said when they worked together there were mainframes the size of refrigerators running 24-inch tapes. He said he remembers spending a few nights in the cold mainframe room with Joanne Ashcroft trying to upload tax tables for payroll processing.
“I will miss her,” Kechichian said.
Al Clark, professor of humanities, said he worked with Joanne Ashcroft in the early ‘90s. He wrote the grant that helped create the IT department and worked closely with her during that time. He said it was a delight to work with her because she was a friendly person.
“She was extremely generous and respectful,” Clark said. “She did not take credit for things that she deserved to take credit for.”
Clark said she always made sure things worked and that people felt she tried the best she could. He said technology is not cheap, but Joanne always tried to get what was necessary.
“She was a wonderful and helpful colleague,” Clark said. “She was someone you did not avoid, you wanted to see her.”
Veronica Ashcroft, is the director of the University of La Verne’s scheduling events and commencement services. She said she would not be at ULV if it was not for her mom. Joanne Ashcroft was not able to get her bachelor’s degree, but she pushed her daughters to be educated. She said with her mom’s guidance she became the strong, educated and independent woman she is today.
Veronica Ashcroft graduated from ULV and started working at the University while her mom was still employed at La Verne.
“It was nice to have her here,” Veronica Ashcroft said. “We had lunch almost every day.”
She said working and spending time with her mom at ULV got them closer and made their relationship stronger.
Joanne Ashcroft was a single mother of two daughters. She was the oldest of five children and a grandma of two teenage boys. Veronica Ashcroft said although their family is small, they are all very close.
“My mother was an amazing person, friend, mother and grandmother,” Veronica Ashcroft said.
Joanne Ashcroft retired in June 2016. Veronica Ashcroft said her mom spent her time relaxing. Joanne Ashcroft also took care of her two grandsons. They went on family trips and spent a lot of her time with her family.
Veronica Ashcroft said before Joanne Ashcroft retired, they knew her health was not going to be great. Veronica Ashcroft, her sister and her two nephews moved in with Joanne Ashcroft.
“We wanted them to be with their grandmother and spend as much time together as possible,” Veronica Ashcroft said.
She said the outreach from ULV staff, faculty and students to her about her mom’s passing is tremendous. Veronica Ashcroft said she appreciates hearing the stories about her mom. She said ULV is like family to her. She is thankful for the love and support she and her family received.
“The love that came back to me is amazing,” Veronica Ashcroft said. “My family, sister and I appreciate hearing all that. Thank you.”
Amy Alcantara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.