"Just a few weeks into the spring of 1986,on the comfortably cool morning of April 26, Ashley was born. For dad and mom, it was a wonderful day.
Four short months later, she and her family moved from Fayetteville. Her dad’s job moved him from the North Carolina “Sand Hills” to Florida’s State Capital … Tallahassee and eventually to Jacksonville, Florida.
Through her preschool years, she was fascinated by nearly anything. Quietly checking out everything … studying it. Ashley started school and attended a Magnet Elementary School, for Math and Science, in Jacksonville, Florida. Her first couple of years of school were exciting and Ashley excelled. Tragedy in her life then began to pull her down as she tried to cope with her mom’s sickness that eventually led to her mom’s death.
By the fifth grade, Ashley’s dad had remarried. Her stepmom was a music teacher specializing in bowed string instruments. Ashley watched and soon became interested in the violin, and moved to a Magnet School that specialized in the Arts. Through the wonderful teaching of her school teachers and private instructors, Ashley excelled. She continued in the School of Arts into the winter of her 8th grade. Her family built a new home in Saint Augustine, and it was time to move again.
Ashley played well and studied hard, and was quickly accepted by her classmates. She changed schools the following year, moving from the middle school to the High School. By now, Ashley was playing in the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, her school's orchestra and her church's orchestra. When Ashley graduated from Saint Augustine High School, she had played in the Saint Augustine Community Orchestra, attended Florida State University Summer Music Camps, and many other workshops and clinics and had won many awards for her musical skills including the prestigious “National School Orchestra Award.”
Immediately after graduation, Ashley was invited to play in the Chancel Orchestra of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. It thrilled her to play in the orchestra of one of the largest churches in America. The seating capacity is nearly ten thousand, and her eyes and smile gleamed in the lights.
Ashley chose to start her college classes in the summer, to be ahead of the others in the fall, and avoid all of the confusion of the new freshman class. By the time the fall term started, Ashley had been chosen to be an Ambassador for Saint Johns River Community College. She decided to wait a few terms before declaring her major. She just couldn’t decide which way she wanted to go.
Since she was about ten years old, Ashley had a very strong desire to learn all she could about tornados. For many years, she talked freely of her desire to become a “Specialized Meteorologist,” specializing in tornado studies. During Ashley’s last two or three years of senior high, she became fascinated with the government and history of America. She talked often of possibly a career in political science, and her dream of working for Mr. Doug Wiles, a State Representative in North East Florida. She loved our nation’s capital, and wanted to visit there as often as she could.
Everyone that knew Ashley loved her. She made everyone her friend, and always had a smile for anyone. Once she knew you, you were greeted with a smile, a hug, and a compliment every time."
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and provide scholarships to students and teachers in memory of Ashley.