Frederick William ‘Fred’ Ashley

Published Nov 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

LITTLE FALLS — Frederick William “Fred” Ashley, age 83, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 10, 2017 at Little Falls Hospital. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by the love and support of his family.

Frederick Ashley was born the sixth of nine children to Bertha (Day) Ashley and Millard Ashley in Frankfort Center. He then moved to East Herkimer where he grew up and received his education in the Herkimer School District, where he received his GED from Herkimer High School. 

In 1952, he enlisted with the United States Marines Corps, a duty which he was always very proud of. For his time in the service, he was honored with the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was also chosen as Marine of the Month and was given the honor of walking the Marine Corps mascot, the Bulldog. He very much enjoyed his Marines reunions and seeing his old buddies. 

Fred was employed with Burrows Paper Mill for 38 years, until his retirement in January of 1996.  

On November 26, 1955, Fred was married to the former Shirley Leon, his childhood sweetheart, and together they enjoyed sixty-two years of marriage. In 1985, Fred became a Catholic under the leadership of Father J. Thomas Connery. He was a member of the St. Mary’s Men’s Club and served on the Holy Family Parish Council. Upon Fred and Shirley’s Golden Anniversary, they were remarried by Father Anthony Ligato.

As a couple, Fred and Shirley loved to hook up their fifth-wheel and head out on the highway; their favorite destination being Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Fred’s favorite pastime was attending the auction with his friend, Mr. Costello; for them, everything was a treasure! He was very handy and as a jack-of-all-trades, did most of his own repairs and building. As a very giving person, he could always be found doing for others and never knew the definition of the word “no.”

Fred loved spending time with his pride and joy, Grechen, who was a dachshund given to him as a Christmas gift, by his wife. The two were inseparable. His current canine companion was Tinker, who he adored. He also enjoyed taking care of his wife’s family cemetery plots.

Fred was a very caring and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who always cherished his family. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Shirley; his daughters and sons-in-law, Bernadette and Tim Donahue of Rome, NY and Brenda and Rick Tappan of Frederick, MD; his son and daughter-in-law, Fred and Rosa Ashley of Syracuse; his much loved grandchildren, Tim and Jenny Donahue of Kennesaw, GA, Dan Donahue of Rome, Brandon and Bridget Dutcher of Dryden, NY, Matthew Dutcher of Syracuse, Amanda and Brian Berlin and son of Syracuse, NY, and Michael Ashley of Syracuse; and his absolutely adored great-grandchildren, Julia Donahue, Liam Donahue, Delia Dutcher and John Dutcher. He also leaves a very special niece and nephew, Bonnie and Bill Klock and his special buddy “Tinker.”

He was predeceased by his precious mother-in-law, Edna Leon, his sister, Martha Sanders and his brother, Richard Ashley.

Friends and relatives are invited to attend calling hours for Fred, which will be held on Tuesday evening, November 14, 2017 from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Enea Family Funeral Home, 24 West Monroe Street, Little Falls (315) 823-2424. Fred’s funeral service will commence on Wednesday morning, November 15, 2017, at 10:15 a.m. at the funeral home and at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Parish Church, 763 East Main Street, Little Falls, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Terence Healy, assisted by Deacon Jim Bower. Procession will follow to St. Mary’s Cemetery in East Herkimer, where he will be laid to rest, with full military honors conferred by the United States Marine Corps.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Marine Corps League Toys For Tots Program, E. L. Smith, Jr. Detachment 245, 307 Adams Street, Rome, NY 13440 OR to the Holy Family Parish Church, 763 East Main Street, Little Falls, NY 13365. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Arrangements and supervision have been entrusted to Harry and Kevin Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia, Funeral Directors of the Enea Family Funeral Homes. Online notes of sympathy may be left at