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James Ash Obituary
Bro. James Ash, FSC
Oct. 4, 1936 - Jun. 23, 2012
Resident of Concord
Brother James Ash, FSC, died at the age of 75 after a short illness at John Muir Hospital, Walnut Creek. At the time of his death, Brother James was a member of the Christian Brothers Community of De La Salle High School, Concord. His passing was a gentle one, marked with a sense of gratitude and a firm conviction about the new adventure with the Lord that awaited him.
Brother James, one of four children of the late Charles Patrick Ash and the late Margaret Weis Ash, was born on October 4, 1936 in Glendale, CA. Brother James is survived by his sister, Marguerite (Marge) Burke, Brother Martin Ash, FSC, a large number of nieces and nephews, his religious community, and many friends. He is pre-deceased by another sibling, Brother Warren Ash, FSC. Following graduation from the Junior Novitiate of the Brothers at Mont La Salle, Napa, Brother James entered the Novitiate on June 6, 1954 and received the habit on August 14, 1954. He pronounced final vows on August 7, 1961 at St. Mary's College High School, Berkeley.
In addition to his religious formation as a Brother of the Christian Schools, Brother James earned the B.A. degree from St. Mary's College, Moraga, in 1958, M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1992) degrees from the Professional School of Psychology, San Francisco, and Certification and the California License in Clinical Psychology in 1997.
Brother James served in a number of secondary schools sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers beginning in 1958. He was a teacher and/or administrator at Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento, Cathedral High School, Los Angeles, the Junior Novitiate, Mont La Salle, Napa, De La Salle High School, Concord, and Justin-Siena High School, Napa. He also served at St. Mary's College, Moraga, at various times as Assistant Dean, Dorm Counselor, and in Pastoral Services. Since 1997 until this year he also operated a practice providing clinical services. He also served his religious community as Brother Director at De La Salle High School from 2007-2011.
Brother James was a De La Salle Christian Brother who lived his vocation with passion and depth. In 2004, on the 50th anniversary of his becoming a Brother, he said of his vocation, "I am here because this is where He has led me, this is where He has chosen to make Himself known, this is where my life makes sense. I rest with the knowledge that what I have done, or not done, over all these years has meaning for me now only in that context. I can only remove my shoes and stand in awe with this realization."
Brother James touched the lives of many over the years. He is remembered as a kind, caring, and rigorous teacher of Religion, English, and Music to high school students, as a warm and approachable counselor to college men and women living away from home for the first time, and a trusted and reliable clinician for adults looking for religious meaning and interpersonal growth in the midst of the ups and downs of life. His Brothers deeply appreciate his care for them in community life, especially as he worked to help each nurture and understand the Lasallian vocation to a shared religious life. His family knows him as a generous and wise brother, uncle, and cousin. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. His new adventure with the Lord is now his gift and joy. That is solace for those who remain to cherish his memory and learn from his witness of a life well spent.
Funeral services will be held for Brother James at Mont La Salle Chapel, 4401 Redwood Road, Napa, on Tuesday, July 3. The Viewing will take place from 9 - 10 o'clock in the morning. The Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30AM. Burial will take place in the Brothers' Cemetery at Mont La Salle after the Mass and a lunch reception will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to De La Salle High School, 1130 Winton Drive, Concord, CA. for the benefit of The Bishop John S. Cummins Scholarship Program Endowment. Donations will support students who need substantial tuition assistance at De La Salle High School.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on July 1, 2012
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