Thomas Ashley

Published 9:11 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

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Feb. 25. 1922-May 5, 2023


Thomas D. Ashley, 101, of Dowagiac, passed away on Tuesday evening, May 9, 2023, at Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, Michigan. He was born on Feb. 25, 1922, in South Bend, Indiana, the son of the late Orville and Ruth (Otstot) Ashley. In 1940, Tom graduated from Niles High School. In 1945, Tom and his father opened O.H. Ashley Inc Firestone in Dowagiac. Tom continued the family business for 46 years until the store’s closing in 1991. On Oct. 10, 1948, Tom was united in marriage to the former Virginia B. Allen in Dowagiac. He had a strong faith in Christ and enjoyed reading and sharing Bible verses with family and friends. Tom was also a pilot and was a longtime member of the Dowagiac Pagoda Club (Pilots and Gals of Dowagiac Airport).
Surviving are three children, Lynn (Charles) Konopinski of Granger, Richard Ashley of Dowagiac and Julie Ashley of Marshall; three grandchildren, Kristen (Vince) DeDario, Nathan Konopinski and Jonathan Konopinski; five great-grandchildren, Dylan, Ella, Lily, Chloe and Liam DeDario; and several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his wife of 60 years, Virginia Ashley; daughter, Gail Ashley; two brothers, Orville “Hank” Ashley and Ron Ashley; and aunt, Gladys Otstot.
A service to celebrate Tom’s life will be held at 1 p.m., on Monday, May 15, at Calvary Bible Church, 27032 Marcellus Hwy., Dowagiac, where friends may visit with the family from 12 p.m., until the time of services. Pastor Stacey Wilder will officiate. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery, Dowagiac. Memorial contributions in Tom’s name may be directed to South Wayne Community Church, Calvary Bible Church or Cass County Council on Aging. Arrangements were entrusted to Clark Chapel – Starks Family Funeral Homes, 405 Center Street, Dowagiac. Those wishing to share a memory of Tom online may do so atĀ