Russell Thomas Ashley Sr. passed away on February 12, 2021. He was born March 24, 1936 in Ready, Kentucky. He was the youngest of 9 children born to Ose and Ada Mudd Ashley. Mr. Ashley was known to his Alabama friends and family as “R.T.” and to his Kentucky friends and family as “Tom” or “Tommy”.
RT was larger than life. He was a storyteller by nature, and he had great stories to tell. He may have reguiled you with tales about his misadventures in Kentucky, or trucking, or maybe with something he did in Alabama when he “first came to this country.” He could talk about anything and everything, and you couldn’t help but listen. He held court with his booming voice and mischievous smile. Everyone who knows him has a favorite story of his. One that they’ve heard a thousand times, can recite by heart, and would listen intently to the next time he told it. His family heard most of these stories around the smoker grill. When they were all able to get together he’d cook his signature meal, a boston butt, or ribs and conecuh sausage and when they sat down to eat the one thing they were sure to hear, in his familiar timbre and draw…
“Our gracious Heavenly Father.
Thank you for this day and thank you for the many blessings you give us O Lord.
Take this food and use it for the nourishment of our bodies.
In Jesus’ name.
Along with his parents, R.T was preceded in death by 5 brothers: William Ashley, Dallas Ashley, Warnie Ashley, Sherman Ashley, and Louis Ashley; 3 sisters: Georgia Anderson, Rudell Peyton and Clara Glaspie all of Kentucky.
He leaves behind his children from his first marriage: son, Brian T. Ashley (Anita); and daughter Karen Blanton, of Kentucky.
R.T. married Mary E. Griffin in 1975. She preceded him in death in 2014 after 39 years of marriage. With his marriage to Mary Effie he gained 5 children they raised together: Robin Felts Coleman (Ashley) of Camden; Sam Felts (Lynn) of Excel; Judith Felts Ray of Camden; Edward L. Felts, Jr. (Scottie) of Mobile; and Margaret S Felts (deceased 2002). Their son Russell Thomas Ashley, Jr. of Kentucky was born in 1978.
He is survived by six grandchildren: Kylan Defore; Mary Elizabeth Dalhaus; Ashley Ray; Colton Ashley; Griffin Felts; Preston Ray; great grandson Elijah Ray; and very special friend, Charlotte Johnson of Camden.
R.T also leaves behind beloved nieces and nephews: Mary Ann Vance (Roger) and family, of Kentucky; Billy Ashley (Kim) and family, of Kentucky; Sonny Ashley (Shelia) and family of Texas; and his favorite niece, Rachel Vales (Alan) and family of Kentucky.