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Obituaries » James "Jim" Ashley

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August 28, 1932 - January 7, 2022

The family is planning a service at a later date and time. Jim and Arlene will be laid to rest together at Boughton Cemetery, Scotts. Memorial Contributions may be made to Centrica Care Navigators, c/o the funeral home.

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Albert and Eunice (Everett) Ashley welcomed their son James “Jim” Milton Ashley on August 28, 1932. On January 7, 2022, he was welcomed into his heavenly home. He was born in the family home on the corner of Portage Road and W. Avenue, Vicksburg, Michigan. There he joined his big brother, Robert “Bob”. A few years later his “Baby” sister, Nellie Lou, joined the family. Growing up he was quite the “busy” boy and could get into trouble very easily.  At the age of 16, he went to work with his dad on the railroad for a couple of years.  After leaving the railroad he went to work for Pease Brothers packing, working along Leon and Don, and their fathers. He had many jobs there from doing farm chores, picking up the animals for slaughter on Mondays and Thursdays, working the floor on Tuesdays and Fridays with deliveries on Wednesdays and Saturdays. In the afternoons he spent time in the fields preparing and harvesting the crops, not only for Pease and his own fields but also other neighbors in the Scotts area.  Many times people would drive past a field and see him out there on his favorite Minneapolis Moline tractor until it was too dark to see. On March 5, 1960, he married Arlene Francis Kulow (Merchant) welcoming 3 daughters, Evalyn, Carla, and Robin. Soon after Patricia, Michael and James “Jim” joined the family. He taught his children and grandchildren what it meant to be a hard worker and loving person. Jim was very well known in the Scotts and Climax communities and was well respected. When asked to describe Jim, many said, hard worker, honest, a man of his word, a good person, stubborn, driven, dedicated, resilient and regimented. Routine was the trait he had and kept even after suffering from a brain tumor and several strokes. He could always be found in his favorite place – his “shop.” He spent many hours out there. He always went to bed early (7:30 p.m.) and rising early (4:30 a.m.) even in his retirement years. His habits were hard to break.  He was a man of few words, but definitely knew how to use them and you definitely listened.  His children and grandchildren knew how to “push” his buttons, but he didn’t raise his voice much because they knew when he gave “that” look or that gruff voice was far enough.  He had a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off his back and drop everything to help out where needed.  His children, their spouses and grandchildren and their spouses were the joy of his life, and he would have a giant smile when they came to visit. Being called Great-grandpa Grump would make him laugh even though he wasn’t one. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert; his son, Randy; daughters, Jamie, Patricia and Robin, and his wife of 46 years, Arlene.  He is survived by his daughters Evalyn (Duane) Soderquist and Carla (Richard) Gordon; sons, Michael and James (Joyce); 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren and soon to be 18; and one great-great granddaughter; sister Nellie Lou (Jan) Vosburg; and many nieces and nephews; and countless friends.