James H. Ashley, 81, of Kerrville, passed from this life in the caring hands of the professionals at the Kerrville VA Hospital on Saturday, June 19, 2010.
He had an amazing sense of humor, was the life of any gathering, had a keen intellect, and a formidable strength of character. His life centered around his family.
He was born in Sondheimer, LA on May 25, 1929, a day his Uncle Slim road a horse to death to fetch the town doctor. He was the son of Roy and Anna Mae (Newton) Ashley. He grew up loving the outdoors in Oregon and Louisiana. He was a longtime resident of Blanco, TX and recently Kerrville.
During WWII, at the age of 16, (having falsified his enlistment papers) volunteered in the US Marine Corp, where he was light heavy weight boxing champion.
Starting at LSU, and then graduated from North Texas State, where he was “Sigma Nu” and on student council where he met the love of his life, Bonnie. He was a diehard fan of LSU Football teams, attending 2 national championship games. He turned down a commission to attend the US Naval Academy, and began his career with “Ma Bell” Telephone CO.
In August of 1952, he married Bonnie Croom in Monahans, TX, the very first wedding at the newly built Methodist Church.
Mr. Ashley quickly rose through the ranks of Southwest Bell. At the height of his career, he was compelled to make a choice between his career and the defense of the honor of his boss and best friend, T.O. Gravitt. He spent 5 years battling the nations largest monopoly, which led directly to the federally mandated breakup of the nations most powerful corporation and the formation of the Public Utility Commission. He started a new life in Blanco in land and ranch realty, and was never happier.
He recently attended Notre Dame Catholic Church ACTS retreat and the VA Chapel services. He believed that we should take some good from every person we encounter.
Mr. Ashley was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Larry, and his uncle, Slim.
Those left to honor and cherish his memory are his wife, Bonnie Croom Ashley; three sons, Jim Ashley and wife Shelly, Mike Ashley and wife, Donna and Eric Ashley and wife, Jackie; his daughter, Elise and Jeff Wright; grandchildren, Aubree, West, Jake, Chandler, Josh, Rachael, Emily, Garrett, Cody, Hunter, and Justin Wright; his sister, Camille LeBlanc, many beloved nieces and nephews and cousins, John Newton and Father Andy Whitman (Junior), his great granddaughter, Brooklyn and of course his most beloved niece Anne LeBlanc.
There will be a celebration of his life at Kerrville Funeral Home, on Friday evening, June 25, 2010 at 6:00 PM. A graveside service will be held at Blanco Cemetery, Blanco, on Saturday morning, June 26, 2010 at 10:00 AM.
The family suggests that donations in his name be made to the VA Hospital Auxiliary.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kerrville Funeral Home, 830-898-5111. The family invites you to leave a message or memory at www.kerrvillefuneralhome.com by selecting "Obituaries." Select "Sign Guestbook" at the bottom of the individual memorial.