John Leroy Ashby was the youngest of two children born to Arthur and Violet Brown-Ashby on February 29, 1920, in Galesburg, Illinois.
John was raised in Galesburg, Illinois, and attended Galesburg, High School. He accepted Christ at an early age, while attending Allen Chapel AME Church with his grandmother Sara. John worked at Hotel Custer from October 1938 to November 1940. He met and married Amanda Belle Brown in 1940, and to that union a son, John Leroy Ashby Jr was born.
John and his family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1941. He enlisted in the army on March 26, 1941, and served as a special delivery clerk, truck driver, cook, supply NCO and dispatcher from 1941 to 1947. During his tour of duty he was awarded the good conduct medal, ETO ribbon and a Purple Heart for wounds received as a result of enemy action in France.
John re-enlisted in the Army Air Core, now known as the Air Force in 1947 and served his country for 21-years until he retired on February 1, 1967. John was among the first to serve in the Air Force. During his service he worked as a cook and volunteered for many special missions. He was awarded a good conduct medal for his exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity. He was awarded a longevity service award. His commanding officers reported highly on John’s leadership abilities, cheerfulness, good natured, neat appearance, job knowledge and proficiency. After retirement John worked at Gates Rubber Company for 10-years. His past times were watching western movies, playing cards and going to the boat to gamble.
John met and married Virginia Mae Graham on August 13, 1952 in Boise, Idaho and to that union two sons, Michael John Ashby and David Leroy Ashby were born.
John preceded his parents, grandmother, Sara, brother Arthur, sister Mary Ann Ashby-Berry, wife Amanda and daughter Michelle in death.
John leaves to cherish his memories three sons, John Leroy Ashby Jr. (wife Kathy) of Hesperia, CA, Michael John Ashby and David Leroy Ashby (wife Brenda) of Los Angeles, CA. Seven grandchildren, George, John III, Rachel, Janeece, Lance, Stacey and Eric, twelve great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 am Saturday, May 24, 2014 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. Pastor Tyson Parks III will be officiating. Visitation will be 10-11 am Saturday at the chapel. Burial will be in East Linwood Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.