Former Eldorado teacher and coach, Jim Ashley, died Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, at the Carbondale Memorial Hospital.
He was born at Ferrell Hospital to Harold and Edith (Cooley) Ashley.
Jim attended kindergarten through twelfth grade in the Eldorado school system, graduating high school in 1964.
He is survived by his mother, Edith Bowers of Marion; his Uncle J.D. (Janice) Cooley of Eldorado; and his aunt, Lovetta King of Harrisburg.
His father, Harold, and his uncles, Wilburn and Bill Cooley, preceded him in death.
Jim was a standout football and track performer for Boz Adams' Eagle Teams: First team all Southern Illini Conference; Second team all Southern Illinois; Leading scorer Southern Illinois 1962-63 season; member of the freshman 800 meter relay team that held school record for 23 years; member of the 1964 varsity 800 meter relay state finalist team that held school record for 35 years.
After high school graduation and a stint with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, Jim returned to Murray State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education.
After teaching and coaching assignments at New Simpson Hill and Eldorado Middle School in the 1970s and 1980s, Jim accepted overseas teaching and coaching positions at the U.S. Department of Defense military bases in Germany, Okinawa, Phillipines and Korea.
He retired and returned to Southern Illinois in 2006. He was a member of the Eldorado First Christian Church and a lifetime member of the VFW # 3479, where he was past commander .
Jim lived, loved and laughed his life as a loyal fan of his students, the Eldorado Eagles and the Chicago Cubs.
Funeral services are 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, at the Watson Funeral Home with Dennis Robison and Scott Pilkington officiating. Burial will be in Wolf Creek Cemetery with Military Rites. Visitation is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois and left at the funeral home.