James O. “Sonny” Ash

James O. “Sonny” Ash

CALLAO—On November 12, 2023, at the age of 94, James Osmond “Sonny” Ash of Callao transitioned from time into eternity. 

Sonny was raised in Perrin, by his father, James Henry Ash, and his mother, Marie Bristow Ash, both of whom predeceased him. After graduating from Fork Union Military Academy in 1947, he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. 

From 1950-1953, he served his country in the United States Coast Guard. He later graduated from the Echols College of Mortuary Science following in the footsteps of his grandfather in serving the people living in the community during their times of loss. In 1960, he became a co-owner in the Jones-Ash Funeral Home and also owned James O. Ash Memorials, both in Rainswood.

In addition to serving his community through funeral service, Sonny was also active in the Lions Club, was a member of the Achilles Masonic Lodge 281, the Westmoreland Masonic Lodge 212, and the Shriners. Sonny served on the Fork Union Military Academy board of trustees for eight years and served for seven years on the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, including one year as president.

Sonny loved his Lord. He was active in Melrose United Methodist Church, including serving as a trustee for the church’s cemetery. He was also active at Lakewood Park United Methodist Church in Fort Pierce, Fla., while spending the winter months in Florida. He was deeply touched when the United Methodist Men at Lakewood Park UMC recognized him as a Life Member in 2012. 

Sonny also loved his family. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Jackson Ash; his children, Pamela C. Ash (Andrew W. Gallagher), James B. Ash, Gen A. Hahn (Kim), Andrew H. Jones (Sue) and Beth Jones Childs. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Matthew Jones (Nicole Drozd), Kyle Jones (Becky), Tollie Appleby (Phillip), Elizabeth Winyall (Davey) and Parker Childs. In addition, he absolutely adored his great-grandchildren, Owen, Jackson, Logan, Ashlynn, Brooks, Cathryn, Leah and Gabe.

He was also predeceased by his two sisters, Lavinia Ash Stuart and Lois Marie Ash Carr.

Visitations were held from 3-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, November 15, at Melrose United Methodist Church, 1317 Lewisetta Road, Lottsburg, with a Masonic Service at 7 p.m. His funeral service will also be held at the church at 2 p.m. Thursday, November 16. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Melrose United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 150, Lottsburg, VA 22511.