Faithful Friends Leave a Retirement Account Provision for Westmont

AshorCarol Ashor, a Santa Barbara native, met her late husband Gil when he decided to spend a summer as an extern at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara while a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh. Carol was a student at Knapp School of Nursing across the street. Gil spent three years in the Navy as a flight surgeon in the Philippines and on an aircraft carrier. After his military service, he opened a general medical practice in Solvang, California, for six years. Interested in surgery, he received further training at UC San Francisco Medical Center. He worked as a cardiac surgeon in Los Angeles for 18 years before returning to Santa Barbara, where he continued to do cardiac surgery.

Gil retired early so he could devote his time to serving people in Third World countries. For nine years, he organized annual two-week medical missions to India to do heart surgery, arranging the cardiac surgeons and most of the equipment and supplies needed. He also served in several African countries and in Nepal.

The Ashors raised their five children in a Christian home. "They all love the Lord and are active in their churches," Carol said. One of their daughters attended Westmont for a semester before graduating from Whitworth, and two of their grandchildren attended Westmont – Jonathan Breneman ’14 and his sister Beka Breneman ’18. They have 13 grandchildren in all.

"We've been friends of Westmont for 23 years," Gil said. "We plugged into the college community when we first moved to Santa Barbara. We attended most of the meetings and hearings when the college was updating its master plan because we consider Westmont an important part of the community. We believe strongly in the value of Christian education."

The Ashors created an irrevocable trust funded by Gil’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to benefit Westmont and several other ministries. They are honored members of the Wallace Emerson Society.


Reproduced with permission from the March 2013 issue of the Westmont College Magazine

For more information about retirement account beneficiary designations, please contact the Office of Gift Planning at (805) 565-6058 or

Back to Donor Stories