HPHA is sad to report the passing of another good friend, Archie Ashley, on Saturday, March 9, 2013. from Decker Funeral Home:
Archie C. Ashley of Chalfont PA passed away on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Abington Hospice at Warminster. He was 86 years old. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Clare K. (Hagerty) Ashley. Mr. Ashley was born in Edenton, NC, to Archie L. and Claudia A. (Coffield) Ashley on December 14, 1926.
After completing High School in Edenton, NC, he attended Duke University for 6 months but felt the call of duty and enlisted in the Navy in March 1943. Archie attended Hospital Corps School and served with the Marines on the Solomon Islands giving first aid. He was wounded while on Peleliu Island during World War II. He was also wounded during the Korean Conflict. For his bravery, saving the lives of others, he received the Navy Cross in Korea.
In 1966, Archie was the Navy’s seventh most decorated enlisted man. He was the holder of more than 40 medals and ribbons including the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and four Purple Hearts.
Archie was stationed at the naval Air Facility at Johnsville, PA in 1953, 1955 , and again in 1958. It was during his first tour of duty that he met and married his wife, Clare, herself a Navy veteran of World War II. After attending Aviation Medical School in Pensacola, FL, Archie was shipped to Johnsville to work on the centrifuge. He worked with all seven of the original astronauts and he and his mates pre-rode every flight project. On one occasion the gondola went wild when Archie was in it, but he emerged with only broken blood vessels.
After serving for one year during the Vietnam War Archie retired from the Navy in 1963. He then became a civilian employee of the Naval Air Development Center in Johnsville. He held various positions at Johnsville, until his retirement in 1983.
In addition to his wife, Archie is survived by three loving nieces and one nephew, and his sister-in-law, Pauline. Burial will be held privately at Horsham Friends Meeting House Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Horsham Friends Meeting House, 500 Easton Road, Horsham, PA 19044, for all friends and family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, 701 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123, in memory of Archie.
Archie and his wife Claire have been great friends and supporters of our organization. We will miss you.