CHESTERTOWN, Md. - Bishop James Alden Ashley Sr., a native son of the Eastern Shore, was born Aug. 31, 1933, in Riley's Neck, Millington. He was the son of the late William "Buddy" Ashley and Susie Washington Ashley. Bishop Ashley, affectionately known as "Duke", departed this life suddenly at the age of 77 on March 28, 2011, of natural causes at Chester River Hospital Chestertown. Bishop Ashley received his early childhood education in the public schools of the Chestertown School District, where he later attended Garnett High School. He continued his occupational education with his subsequent enlistment in the United States Army Quartermaster Corps. He received an honorable discharge from the United States Army after faithfully completing three years of dedicated service. After military service, he met and married his beloved, Rosie A. Sudler. They exchanged vows on May 12, 1957. The Ashley's relocated to Delaware in 1970 and made their home in Hartly, Del. Bishop Ashley was a charter member of B.I.G Union, an affiliation of surrounding churches located in the Northern Delaware area. He, also, served as the Field Bishop of the Northeast Division of the Body of Christ Christian Fellowship. Greater Life Christian Church was one of the first seven participating churches in the International Ministerial Alliance (IMA). He was known to be a "lover of people of all nationalities and walks of life". His strong commitment to the international community was clearly expressed as he spearheaded a campaign to send 100 bicycles and 100 mattresses to Haiti working to meet another challenge of a global ministry. Bishop Ashley's charismatic leadership and "hands-on." practical, life-skills mentoring changed the lives of many people. He will forever live on in the hearts of his family and community of friends. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife of 54 years, Rosie A. Ashley; six sons, Lionel Ashley, Pastor James A. Ashley Jr. (1st Lady Pippa), Minister of Music, Tyrone Ashley (Darlene), Elder Donald Ashley (Tina), James Hackett, and Curtis Gleaves; a daughter, Leola (Bonnie) Jackson; loving daughter-in-law, Evangelist Mary Ashley-Butler; 30 grand children; 28 great-grandchildren; four sisters-in-law, Mable Cousins, Lorraine Stevens, Deretha Ridgway (Michael); two brothers-in-law, Arnold Sudler (Pastor Shirley) and Norman Sudler; special friends, Elder Arnold Jeffers, Brother Herbert Sudler, and Apostle John T. Graham; a special cousin, Vivian Garnett; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Services will be held Friday, April 8, 2011 at Greater Life Christian Church, Star Hill, Del. Viewing 3 to 6:45 p.m., service at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2011, at Crossroads Christian Church in Dover, Del. Viewing 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., service at 12 p.m. Burial service will be at Graves Chapel in Millington. Professional services by Bennie Smith Funeral Home, Dover, Del.
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Published in NewsZapDE from Apr. 5 to Apr. 7, 2011