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Robert Ashley Sr.

TONICA — Robert James Ashley Sr., 90, of Tonica died peacefully at home on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, after a one-year battle with lung cancer.

He was born in Spring Valley on Jan. 15, 1928, to Howard and Frances (Wise) Ashley. He married Emma Lou Walling on Oct. 8, 1950.

He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War for two years. After his time in the in Army, he farmed with his brother Jack. He was the owner of Ashley’s Arts, Craft and Rock Shop. He drove the school bus for Tonica for 10 years.

He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. He was also a Mason and had been a Cub Scout leader for over 20 years. He was a member of the Tonica American Legion, where he served as sergeant at arms, and was the secretary for the Tonica Telephone Board over 20 years. He was also an All-American Farmer through the FFA.

He enjoyed fishing, golfing and flying. He also would sew quilt tops for his church. For the last 28 years, he and Emma Lou enjoyed wintering at Saddlebag Lake Resort in Lake Wales, Fla.

He is survived by his wife, Emma Lou of Tonica; five sons, Robert (Karen) Ashley Jr. of Tonica, William (Charlene) Ashley of Maggie Valley, N.C., Ronald (Judy) Ashley of Perryburg, Ohio, Donald (Sue) Ashley of LaSalle and Gary Ashley of LaSalle; 12 grandchildren; two great-grandsons; one brother, Jack (Rita) Ashley of Tonica; and one sister, Elizabeth Ann Ashley of Port Angeles, Wash.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Jean Nichols.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, in Immanuel Lutheran Church with the Rev. Roger Helgren officiating. Burial will be in the old cemetery in Tonica, with full military services conducted by the Tonica American Legion. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday in the church.

Pallbearers will be his sons and two grandsons, Jeremey and Andrew Ashley.

Memorials may be directed toward IVCH Hospice or the Tonica Ambulance and Fire Department.

The Hurst Funeral Home in Tonica is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be viewed and remembrances shared at

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