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James Phillip Ashley

July 31, 1933 ~ February 8, 2018 (age 84)

James P. Ashley, 84, of South Bend, IN, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2018, in his home.   On July 31, 1933 James P. Ashley was born to the union of the late Dr. Jesse Orville Ashley & Margaret Susan (Frawley) Ashley in Michigantown, IN. 

A 1951 graduate of Michigantown High School, Jim earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Education from Indiana University, received National Science Foundation grants for postgraduate study at the University of Illinois, the University of Colorado, and the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Science Education from the University of Texas.

Jim was a navigator in the US Air Force serving from 1955 until 1958.  After teaching Science at Jefferson Elementary School for four years, Jim became the Science Coordinator for the South Bend Community School Corporation in 1962.  In the autumn of 1966, he assumed the position of Director of Elementary Science and Health Publications for Ginn & Company, Educational Publishers in Boston Massachusetts.  In 1986, Jim returned to the South Bend Community School Corporation to serve in the area of planning and research as the Director of Special Programs.  In 1986, Jim as appointed to be the Acting Executive Director of the Curriculum Department and then returned to be Director of Special Programs until he retired in 1992.  In his 21 years of service to the South Bend Community School Corporation, Jim exhibited intellect, creativity, wit and a sense of humor, which became legendary. He organized and developed the Teacher of the Year Program, Achievers All and Spelling Bee.  Jim’s hobbies were politics, watching IU basketball and pro golf matches.

A cousin, John Davis of Evansville, IN, survives him.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Frankfort, IN. Burial will follow in St. Paul Cemetery in Frankfort, IN

Donations in memory of James may be made to Michigan Branch Road Library, Michigantown, Indiana or to the Pet Refuge of South Bend.

Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, IN is handling local arrangements.  To send online condolences, please visit

Goodwin Funeral Home, Frankfort, IN is handling arrangements in Frankfort, IN.  Online condolences may be made to



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