John Warden Ash was born August 12, 1948, in Huntington WV. He was the son of the late Rev. Clyde W. Ash and Helen G. Ash, both past residents of WV. After a thankful and grateful life, John began his eternal life with his Lord and Savior on March 18th, 2023.
As the son of a Methodist minister, he had the opportunity to live in various places while growing up in WV including: Rivesville, Grafton, Piedmont, Parkersburg, Vienna, Wheeling, Beckley, Glen Dale, Clarksburg, Wallace, as well as six- and one-half years in Morgantown as an undergraduate/graduate student at West Virginia University (WVU). He was a 1966 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, WV. Growing up, he spent a lot of time in the summer months at his grandmother’s (Grace Conley) and aunt’s (Sarah Conley) home in Morgantown, WV. This influenced his decision to attend WVU, graduating in December 1970 with an undergraduate degree in Biology and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force (USAF). While an undergraduate at WVU, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi national fraternity. Upon graduation, he requested and received an educational delay from the USAF to attend graduate school, completing two master’s programs in December 1972. One degree was in Biology and the other in Health Education/Health Promotion.
In September 1972 while in graduate school he met Marsha. They fell in love, and they were married on July 7, 1973. Honeymoon plans were to Biloxi, MS, where John reported for his first active-duty assignment as a Training Officer at Keesler Air Force Base. His twin daughters, Jennifer and Stephanie, were born there on June 18, 1974. His second active duty assignment was to Randolph Air Force Base, TX, near San Antonio, where he was in charge of all Supply and Civil Engineering training conducted by the USAF.
John and his family returned to WV in the fall of 1976 where he served his remaining 20 plus years in the military with the WV Air National Guard. He retired in 1996 as the Support Group Commander, 130th Airlift Wing, located in Charleston, WV. Following military retirement, he coordinated a graduate Health Promotion program at the WVU Medical School campus in Charleston, WV. In late 1997 he accepted leadership as Executive Director of the Central WV Chapter, American Red Cross, headquartered in Charleston, WV, where he served for over 10 years. He ended his working career in 2010 as a Department of Defense Contractor with the WV Air National Guard after moving to Charlotte, NC. Following retirement, John served in a variety of volunteer leadership positions with: The Billy Graham Library; rules official with the Carolinas Golf Association; and member/treasurer/board member/finance and cemetery committee chair for Good Shepherd Church. He also enjoyed volunteering with the USO.
John is survived by his wife Marsha; daughters Jennifer Dwyer and Stephanie Howells; sons-in-law – Mark Dwyer and Chuck Howells; five grandsons – Joshua Howells, Nathan Howells, Christopher Howells, Jacob Dwyer, and Nolan Dwyer; as well as his brother-in-law Mike Comer and his wife Marcie.
A celebration of Life service will be held at Good Shepherd Church at 2:00 pm on March 24, 2023. The family will receive friends following the Service. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers contributions are encouraged to be made to The Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217 and/or to Good Shepherd Church, 13110 Moss Road, Charlotte, NC 28273.
Arrangements by: M. L. Ford and Sons, 4820 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie, SC 29710 (803) 831-1909.
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