Ashley was born on November 28, 1938, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Abbie and Darrell Watson, Sr. The family moved around the mid-west and west until Ashley was in high school and he graduated from Marysville High School, Marysville, WA in 1957. Two years later, he met the love of his life, Carolyn Joy Bond. They married on September 22, 1961.
After his marriage, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served at Fort Ord, California, and Augsburg, Germany. Upon his return, he attended college at Everett Community college in Everett, WA and Western Washington State College in Bellingham, WA; graduating with a teaching degree in 1964.
He then began his life-long love of teaching. He taught for five years before attending graduate school at Kansas State University, then he returned to Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA for his Masters Degree in education and his Principal’s Certificate in 1970. He taught in the classroom before becoming a principal in Mabton, WA. After one year there, he became Superintendent of Washtucna, Pateros, and Soap Lake, all of Washington State. During this time he also attended graduate school at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.
Ashley decided that he missed the direct contact with students, so he returned to the classroom at Forks, WA in 1990. He taught there for 16 years, before retiring in 2006. He and Carolyn moved to Loon Lake, WA to be nearer to some of their children. He was lured out of retirement to teach at Paideia High School in Valley, WA, where he served for eight more years before retiring permanently, having served a total of 50 years in Washington State Schools.
Another of his loves was coaching. During his tenure in various schools, at one time or another he coached baseball, basketball, (both boys and girls), football, wrestling, cross country and his most favorite track and field; where he coached five state champion individuals.
He also was a 50-year member of the Lions Club International where he held all the local club offices at one time or another. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman; and wherever the family lived, he took advantage of the local possibilities for these activities.
Ashley was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Carolyn; his parents; his sister, Lola; son-in-law John Burks, Jr., and three grandchildren.
Ashley is survived by his daughters, Theresa (Dan) Hill; Diana (Edward) Craner; Nancy (Mike Fraley) Burks; Catherine (Marc) Murray: 12 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
A service for both Ashley and Carolyn was held on February 24, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the United Church of Christ (UCC), in Chewelah, Washington.