James Edward Ashman Sr.

May 24, 1929 - May 15, 2017

James's Story

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Sedgwick - James Edward Ashman, Sr., 87, of Sedgwick, passed away surrounded by his loving family on May 15, 2017, at a Bangor hospital. Mr. Ashman was born May 24, 1929, in Washington Heights, New York City, New York. He attended Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School, New York City, and graduated from Saint Cecilia's High School, Englewood, New Jersey. He is survived by his wife of 53 years Mary Ellen Marie (Desmond) Ashman of Sedgwick, his son James Edward, Jr. and his wife Heather (Parker) Ashman of Sedgwick and their children Jonathan and Allison, his daughter Mary Agnes and her husband Patrick Murray of Bradford and children Thomas and Desmond, his son John Sr. and wife Laurie (King) Ashman of Levant and their children, John Jr. and Rachel, his son Desmond and wife Lucy (Bradshaw) Ashman of Sedgwick, his daughter Geraldine Dolores Ashman of Sedgwick, nephews Douglas James and Gregory Steven Ashman of Arizona, lifelong friend Alexander Dever of Bergenfield, New Jersey, many Desmond nieces and nephews, as well as wonderful neighbors from Bangor and Sedgwick. He was predeceased by his parents, Elijah John and Elizabeth (Connell) Ashman of Englewood, New Jersey, a brother John Albert and his wife Helen Maxine Ashman and their son, Michael Thomas Ashman, all of Arizona.
Known as "Jimmy" or "Jim" by his wife, colleagues and many friends, Mr. Ashman served with pride in the New York and New Jersey Army National Guard in the 50th Armored Division, honorably discharged at the rank of Master Sergeant. He worked for "Ma Bell" companies for 43 years, including New York Bell, New Jersey Bell, Bell Atlantic, and for more than 20 years, New England Telephone and NYNEX in Maine, as lineman, installer, cable splicer, troubleshooter and Power Follow-through Inspector. In Sedgwick and surrounding towns in Hancock County, he was known as "the telephone man," and made friends with whomever he worked and wherever he provided service. He was a faithful congregant of Saint John's Catholic Church, Bangor, and of Saint Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Stonington. He supported Saint John's School (now All Saints School) and John Bapst Memorial High School, Bangor, assisted the Cub Scout Leader in Sedgwick, was a volunteer librarian at the Sedgwick Library and was instrumental in having the Veteran's Memorial Bench installed at the Sedgwick Library.
To his five children, whom he loved deeply and of whom he was very proud, he was Dad; to their friends, affectionately "Mr. A.," and to his beloved grandchildren, "Grumps," a name he believed carried the highest honor. In all of them he instilled his passion for nature, the water and boating, teaching them swimming, sailing, fishing and water skiing. A lifeguard, he organized swimming lessons for area children. He had compassion for all animals, and will be fondly missed by his pet cat, Baby, and several special dog friends. Devotee of words and an avid reader who excelled at strategy, he played many games of Scrabble, checkers, and Monopoly with his wife and the young people in his life. He even made losing to him fun. He loved gardening, cooking for his family, canning, and was a talented baker, gifting homemade jelly, pickles, and his delicious bread to friends and family. A man who experienced satisfaction from working with his hands, he enjoyed carpentry, caned and restored antique chairs and created stained glass. Fascinated by technology and engineering, he passed down to his children and grandchildren the desire to understand how anything mechanical or electrical works. Every year before Christmas, his favorite holiday, he enchanted his neighborhood by lighting the enormous spruce outside his home in Sedgwick; celebrating the season with family and friends gave him great joy.
The family expresses their heartfelt appreciation and love to Mr. Ashman's devoted caregivers: Heather (Parker) Ashman, Rea Kerrigan, and Joyce Carter. For their years of exemplary care, a wealth of gratitude is extended to Mike Kelley, Leslie Spencer, Michelle Hogan and the staff at the Maine Veterans' Home, Bangor, and to Dr. Atul Soreng. Thank you, too, to the staff at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
A funeral Mass followed by a gathering of family and friends to celebrate his life will be announced at a later date.
Published on  May 24, 2017
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