Cover photo for Phillip Terry Ashley's Obituary
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Phillip Terry Ashley

December 7, 1942 — June 8, 2024

Silas Creek Chapel

Phillip Terry Ashley

Phillip Terry Ashley died Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem, NC. Born December 7,1942, he was the son of Glenn and Frances Ashley. Phil grew up in Fort Mill, SC, where he graduated from Fort Mill High School in 1962 and that same year was voted “Most Courteous” by his classmates—a superlative that characterized much of the rest of his life. He was also a member of the Boy Scouts of America and was proud to have received the God and Country Award. Though he and his future wife, Jean, had been friends since the fifth grade, it was while in high school that they began a relationship which eventually led to their marriage in 1967—a marriage that lasted for 57 years.

 Phil was a 1966 graduate of Appalachian State University, where he was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, the National Social Science Honor Society; and he was also instrumental in forming Appalachian’s first campus radio station. He later completed graduate studies at UNC-Greensboro, earning a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. Phil began his career as a history teacher at Reynolds High School, and while at Reynolds, he was awarded an R.J. Reynolds Fellowship to attend the Summer Fellowship Program at UNC-Chapel Hill. He then continued his career in education as a guidance counselor at Carver High School and afterwards at the Career Center, where he served as Lead Counselor and the Director of Student Services. 

 After his retirement in 1997, Phil spent time doing the things he most enjoyed—working outside in his yard, painting and taking art classes, playing golf, collecting model trains for which he created an elaborate layout in his garage, preparing delicious meals, and reading. He especially enjoyed books about the Civil War and anything written by either David McCullough or Charles Dickens. He also volunteered at Daybreak Respite Care at Centenary United Methodist Church, Trellis Supportive Care, and the Clemmons Food Pantry; and he served as a Stephen Minister at both Clemmons and Centenary Methodist Churches. Most of all, Phil enjoyed spending time with his family, and he loved his children and grandchildren beyond measure. His family’s annual trips to the beach were a highlight of his year. There, he always found his “happy places”—either sitting in a rocking chair with a book and a cup of coffee as he enjoyed the ocean view or walking on the beach. 

 Phil was perhaps best known for his sense of humor, and even in the last days of his life when he was a patient at hospice, the nurses and staff said he kept them laughing. He was also a kind, generous man who endeared himself to others. As his primary care physician recently said, “He was easy to love.” 

 Phil is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean Jackson Ashley; his children Julie Ashley Holmes (Barry) of Clemmons and John Phillip Ashley (Jackie) of Chapel Hill; and his grandchildren Ryan Baldwin Holmes, Drew Benjamin Holmes, Samantha Harper Ashley, and Paige Sophia Ashley. Surviving as well is his beloved cat Daisy. 

 Phil was a member of Clemmons Presbyterian Church, and the family will have a private committal service at the church Columbarium at a later date. They are also planning a time for friends and loved ones to honor and remember Phil. 

 Phil’s nurses at hospice said he lived longer than expected because he had a strong heart. Those who knew him would say he also had a good heart, and he will be missed and remembered with immense love and deep gratitude for the example he set as a husband, father, and grandfather. 

 For those who wish, donations in Phil’s memory may be made to Trellis Supportive Care, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. Hayworth-Miller Silas Creek Chapel is serving the family of Mr. Ashley. 

 

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