John Albert Ashman passed away August 9, 2015 at his home in Mena, Arkansas. Mr. Ashman is survived by his wife of 54 years, Roberta Marlene Ashman. He is also survived by his sons, Joseph Ashman (Carrie) of Nashwauk, Minnesota; Jeffrey Ashman (Connie) of Winder, Georgia; daughter, Amy Ashman King (Brian) of Tampa, Florida; great-niece Michelle Fowler Kasper (Bill) of Madison, Wisconsin; and nine grandchildren, Kristin Ashman, Jacob Ashman, Casey Ashman, Nicholas Ashman, Ashley Moore, Emily King, Catherine Grace King, Kayla Ashman, and Joseph W. Ashman. John is also survived by his sisters, Joann Moreno (Henry), Mary Wicoff (Lewis), Patricia Tassio (Stephen); and one brother, Joseph L. Ashman (Rene).
He was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Pauline Null and Joseph Ashman.
John Ashman was a Navy veteran with 32 years of service. He is a veteran of nine WestPac cruises and was also a Vietnam veteran. In 1989, John retired as Master Chief Boiler Technician. He served aboard the USS Valley Forge (CVS-45) USS Wasp (CVS-18), USS Agerholm (DD-826), USS Halsey (DLG-23), USS Gray (DE-1054), USS Horne (DLG-30), and USS Cook (FF-1083). John served a tour with the West German Navy (1975-1977) aboard the FGS Molders (D186). He served an additional tour (1981-1983) with the West German Navy aboard the FGS Lutjens (D185). John served his country with honor and distinction. He was a recipient of numerous Good Conduct Awards as well as Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medals.
John was an avid train enthusiast. Nothing made him happier than chasing trains all over the world. John was a member of the Scottish Railway Museum, Kansas City Southern Historical Society, and the Ft. Smith Trolley Museum.
John was a member of the American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
John Ashman was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He gave wholeheartedly in causes he believed in. Over the years, John volunteered as a Little League and softball coach, Assistant Boy Scout Master, and Parent Teacher Association. He freely donated his time and finances to those less fortunate than him.
In 1988, John and Marlene bought 35 acres in Mena, Arkansas, the place where they would retire to in 2002.
John battled heart problems for over 25 years. John fought the good fight but could not make his body do his bidding any longer. He will be missed extremely by his family, friends, and acquaintances. John will forever be our John/Dad/Daddy/Uncle John/Opa. His memorable words of wisdom will continue to guide our lives and decisions as we continue without him in our lives. With every decision, large or small, we make, we will be guided by John’s most memorable advice: “What you should do is…”
The sailor has gone on his last WestPac. May God Bless and keep his soul.
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.
Mr. Ashman was cremated and no services are being held.