James Ray Ashford
October 9, 1934 – November 15, 2019
James (Jim) R. Ashford, 85, passed away peacefully Friday, November 15, 2019 at Silver Crest Assisted Living Facility in Davenport, Iowa. He was born in Shelbina, Missouri on October 9, 1934, the son of Walter and Hazel Mae (Fisher) Ashford. Tragically, at the age of 8 he suffered the loss of his mother. For a period of time he and his brother Robert were taken in by his grandparents William and Floy Fisher while his father served in the Civil Service in Hawaii. Upon his father’s return, he attended five different high schools throughout the country due to his father’s occupation in construction.
He lettered in track & field and football at Hannibal High School. In 1952 he moved with his father and stepmother Emily along with his brother and stepbrother Charles to the Bettendorf, Iowa area. He attended the newly built Bettendorf High School and was in the second graduating class and served as class president as well as football captain. During his senior year he met his wife, Nancy Halden. After a short courting, they wed July 25, 1953.
Jim worked as a carpenter and millwright early in his career. In 1960 he became a carpenter foreman for Beverage Construction Company working mostly at Alcoa in Riverdale, Iowa. On January 2, 1966 he was hired by Alcoa as a Painter-Carpenter Foreman. In November of 1969 he was promoted to Land and Building Supervisor. He retired December 31, 1994.
In May 1997, Jim moved with his wife Nancy and son Daniel to Fairfield Glade, Tennessee, where he enjoyed 20 years of playing golf and for several of those in golf course maintence. He was an avid wood worker and designed and built many pieces that are cherished amongst family and friends. Additionally, He and his wife played in many delightful card groups. He was active in the Boosters Club of Hilltoppers, Inc. day service program for handicapped adults, serving as president for several years.
Jim enjoyed travelling and has visited all fifty states. In 2012 his desire was to visit the only state he had not been to – North Dakota. With his son Mark doing most of the driving, he filled his bucket list. He was an avid sports fan and held season tickets to the University of Iowa Hawkeye football and men’s basketball games. He was also fortunate to have season tickets to the University of Tennessee Lady Vols basketball. Due to declining health Jim and Nancy moved back to Davenport in September 2018. He was of Baptist faith and was always active in his church serving in various capacities. He was a loving husband, father and great grandfather. The character traits we loved were generous, loving and beyond most loyal to his family. He is survived by his wife Nancy; his son Mark Ashford of Davenport; daughters Lisa (Bob) Sawatzki of Bloomington, Illinois, and Suzanne (Steven) Guy of Worthington, Ohio; seven grandchildren and three great grandsons. James was preceded in death by his son Daniel Ashford (2011) and his parents.
Rites of cremation have been performed and a memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church (14th & Perry Streets) in Davenport on Monday, November 25th at 11:00 am. Visitation will be one hour prior to service. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Genesis Hospice.
Online condolences may be made to the Ashford family by visiting the obituary at www.Weertsfh.com.
- Walter Ashford, Father (deceased)
- Hazel Mae (Fisher) Ashford, Mother (deceased)
- Nancy Ashford, wife
- Daniel Ashford, Son (deceased)
- Mark Ashford, Son
- Lisa (Bob) Sawatzki, Daughter
- Suzanne (Steven) Guy, Daughter
- James also leaves seven grandchildren and three great grandsons. He was preceded in death by his son Daniel Ashford (2011) and his parents.
- Genesis Hospice
- Visitation Monday, November 25, 2019
- Memorial Service Monday, November 25, 2019
James Ray Ashford
November 24, 2019
Dear Ashford family, I just wanted to offer my condolences at the 'home-going' of Jim. While I'm not going to be attending the visitation & service scheduled at First Baptist, I DO want to share that I pray the Lord's loving grace upon each of you at this time. Jim has always been, and is now, more than ever, in the greatest of hands.
Grace & peace,
Everett & Donna Solomons
November 20, 2019
Nancy we send our condolences and our love remembering both you and Jim as members of Central Baptist Church in Crossville, Tn.
May God bring you His comfort and His peace in the Home Going of your beloved Jim.
But God will redeem my soul from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself. Psalm 49:15
With love, Everett & Donna Solomons
November 20, 2019
Nancy we have you and family in thoughts and prayers.
Glad we got to know you here at GSS
November 20, 2019
Nancy and family,
So sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy. So many memories from our Alcoa days. Take care.
November 19, 2019
Nancy - so sorry to hear about the passing of Jim. I certainly have a lot of great memories working with Jim at Alcoa. When I was a young engineer, he was a great mentor helping me learn the construction part of executing a project. My condolences go to you and your family. Jake Niedling