White House staffers are mourning the loss of one of their own following the death Monday of Ashley Turton, a former Hill aide and the wife of White House Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs Dan Turton.
“It is with great sadness that I share with you some news about our White House family,” acting White House Chief of Staff Peter Rouse wrote to staff in an e-mail.
“Dan Turton’s wife, Ashley, died this morning at their home in Washington,” he said. “Many of you have worked with both of them during their careers on Capitol Hill, and they exemplify the definition of public servants. We are making every resource available to Dan and his family in his moment of need, and we will update you soon about where you can send condolences to the Turton family.”
Ashley Turton, 37, worked as a lobbyist for Raleigh, N.C.-based utility giant Progress Energy Inc. She was found early Monday in her car, which caught fire in the family’s row house garage around the 800 block of A Street Southeast near Eastern Market. The major crash investigation unit of the Metropolitan Police Department said the impact from a low-speed crash caused the fire.
House Democratic leaders are also grieving the loss of Turton, who formerly was the chief of staff to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).
“The Capitol Hill community knew Ashley for her professionalism and commitment to public service, and many called her a friend. She was taken from her family and her community far too soon, and I know that she will be greatly missed,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said.
Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) described Turton as “a fighter for our nation’s underserved and underprivileged” and “a consummate leader in the halls of the House, respected by Members and colleagues alike.”
Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) said he is “stunned and saddened” by the loss.
“Ashley was a valued and beloved member of the Capitol Hill family. She left her mark on this world — touching so many lives on Capitol Hill both personally and professionally,” he said. “My prayers are with her husband, Dan, and their three young children at this difficult time.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.