American Veteran 01

Jesse James Ashford

July 21, 1935 ~ April 3, 2022 (age 86)


Jesse J. Ashford was born on July 21, 1935 in Woodville, MS to the late James and Nonie Blakes-Ashford. He was the fifth child of eight siblings.  He earned his heavenly wings on Sunday, April 3, 2022

Jesse was educated in the Wyoming District of the Wilkerson County School System. While in the Navy Jesse completed his GED. He later received his Associate Degree in Business Administration from Austin Community College.

Jesse accepted Christ at an early age at the Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Woodville, MS. While stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico he rededicated his life to Christ and was rebaptized by Missionary Hooper.

Jesse’s last duty in the Navy was as a Navy Recruiter. His first assignment as a recruiter was in Beeville, Texas. He was moved to Austin, Texas where he recruited at high schools and colleges.

Upon moving to Austin, Texas he joined the St. James Missionary Baptist Church under the late Reverend E.M. Franklin where he was a very active member. He was a deacon for over twenty-five years, trustee, usher and sang in the male chorus. He also served on the budget committee and many other committees and attended Sunday school regulary. He was the church treasurer for many years. He enjoyed getting up early on Monday mornings and working with the Finance Committee.

After retiring from the US Navy in 1984 he worked at the U.S. Postal Service. He worked for the U.S. government for over forty years.

Jesse owned several businesses including The Big Sweeper, a commercial cleaning service, Galaxy Custom Decor and several vending machines located at local grocery stores.

He is proceeded in death by his parents, two brothers, Matthew Ashford and Nolan Ashford, two sisters, Ophelia Bethley and Carrie Brister, nephew Demond Ashford and niece Vonceal Johnson Carter.

Jesse leaves to cherish is memory his wife Mary E. Kearse Ashford, daughter, Angela C. Ashford, son, James Eric Ashford, God children, Dr. Chris Harvey, Alaiya and Chyra Harvey and Erin Prudhomme, and sisters Mary Ashford and Kate Johnson of New Orleans, LA and many nieces and nephews.

Special Thanks to the following: Voleta Denmon, Vicki Leonard, Eartha Colson, Wilma Steven, John and Juliet Nious, Charles Kelly and the St. James Office Staff.


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April 19, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
King-Tears Mortuary, Inc.
1300 E 12th St
Austin, TX 78702

Celebration of Life
April 20, 2022

11:00 AM
St. James Missionary Baptist Church
3417 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78721

April 20, 2022

2:00 PM
Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery
11463 State Highway 195
Killeen, TX 76542

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