I don't know who wrote the obituary below the fold. I had heard recently that Ross had cancer, that treatments had failed, and that he had only a short time to live.
I had a lot of history with Ross back in the hippie days, but after he moved to Arkansas, we never communicated.
I didn't hear about his death and services until weeks after the fact, but the news has affected me, regardless of the regard or lack of it he or those of his family who knew me had for me.
I am at that age where people of my generation are dying more and more frequently, and each one registers. Call it the "For Whom the Bell Tolls" syndrome.
"No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."I loved you, Ross. Thanks for the memories. And the two paintings of yours I have. I may photograph and post them here.
Eureka Springs - ROSS THOMPSON ASHLEY, 62, husband, son, father, brother, uncle, passed away in his sleep at 2 a.m. at his home in Eureka Springs on March 21, 2012. His wife Rosalyn Ashley, and his mother Freddie Jean Martin Ashley-Smith will always remember his loving nature. Ross has many relatives in Alabama, where his mother grew up in Tuscaloosa. Ross spent some of his younger years there. He and his mother moved to Chattanooga, TN and she married Richard Weber Ashley who adopted him. When they moved to Memphis, after living in New Orleans for three years, Ross was in the sixth grade and was chosen Prince to represent his school in the Memphis in May Festival. At White Station High School he played the French Horn and performed at ball games, concerts and parades. He also played basketball. Ross had ambitions, and while in junior high school he threw the afternoon paper. He also had many friends and when Beale Street performed their first music festival, he and his friends Bill Shephard and Brian Gingley taped it all. It is now an historical piece of work. Ross attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he studied art, wood sculpting and metal designing. While attending UT, he married Katherine Petree and later had a son, Peter Evans Ashley. Peter married Stacy and they have two daughters and two sons. Later, Ross married Neena and they had a daughter, Vanessa Dylan Ashley, who married Dean Franklin and they have four lovely daughters. Some years later, Ross and Rozalyn married and had a son, Jesse Martin Ashley, who married Cortney, and they have a son. Ross has two brothers, Richard Martin Ashley, who married Jeri Marsh and they have two sons, Robert Franklin Ashley, who married Suzanne Spieghts and they have one daughter. When Ross’ mother married Ernest Mark Smith, he acquired three stepsisters, Suzanne Reynolds (Doug), of Tomball, TX, and they have a daughter and a son; Sarah Pfaffenroth (Mark), of Crossville, TN, and they have two sons; Nancy Faust (Keith), of Memphis, TN, and they have a daughter and a son; and a stepbrother, George Marquis Smith of LaFayette, LA. Ross worked for PINE CREEK LUMBER COMPANY owned by the Anderson family. He took contractors blueprints and figured how much and what type lumber for what was being built. The owners of this company were very helpful to Ross during his illness. Ross enjoyed hunting and fishing and lived his life with style, humor, generosity and charm. His friends held a party in "Memory of Ross’ Life" on March 31, 2012 in Eureka Springs, AR.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on April 13, 2012