Ollye Mae Flemings was born on June 15, 1935, in Williamsport, Tennessee. She was the second child of John Wesley Flemings and Elizabeth Russell Flemings.
After losing both parents before the age of six, Ollye went to live, and was raised, by her maternal Uncle and Aunt , Robert Russell (affectionately known as “Uncle Toad”) and his wife, Norella until she completed High School. It was then at the age of 16 she moved to Nashville to live with her cousin Mary Harding. At the age of 18 she enrolled into Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN, pursuing a B.A. in Education. While attending college she met and married her college sweetheart, Thomas Zachary Ashford Sr. After both graduating from college they married on June 25, 1957 and then moved to Wichita, Kansas. Their marriage lasted 19 years until Thomas’s sudden death in December 1976. Together they had three children. Two daughters, Jacquelyn Gail Ashford and Sherri Bernice Ashford, and one son, Thomas (Tommy) Zachary Ashford, Jr.
In 1962, they relocated to Saint Louis, Missouri. The Ashford’s joined and became active members of First Baptist Church of Webster Groves in 1968. As a member, Ollye will always be remembered as an avid Bible study attendee, a ministry leader of Home and World missions (a ministry to such countries as Ghana and Haiti). She also served as the chair of the Repast Ministry for many years. Ollye was a committed Sunday School teacher teaching not only children in the Primary Sunday School Department, but also serving as a teacher in the Adult Sunday School Department where she shared her biblical knowledge and imparted her spiritual wisdom. Ollye also had a genuine love for all people. She served diligently in the church’s Food Ministry and as a volunteer at Webster/Rock Hill Ministries. Finally, she was the church’s liaison with The Red Cross as the church provided monetary relief to those around the world suffering the effects of natural disasters. Ollye exhibited the Christian lifestyle and led by example. She always said, ”Be careful how you treat people, the very person you mistreat might be the one you’ll need to give you a drink of water” and “Let the work I do speak for me”. Ollye always felt the work you do on earth should let people know you’re a Christian.
She leaves behind to cherish her memory daughters Jacquelyn and Sherri. Her son, Thomas Zachary
Ashford Jr., who preceded her in death, a brother, James T. Tindall (Helen), Columbia, Tennessee.
Cousins Patricia Spann, Nashville, TN, Maurice Harding (Marcelous) Denver, CO, nephews Eric Tindall,
Columbia, Tennessee, Brian Ashford, Atlanta, GA, William Ashford Jr., Jacksonville, FL, and a niece Rene
Ashford, Orlando, FL and her god-children, Kenneth Jackson and Nancy Collier (D’Angelo), and a host of
many cousins and friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ollye Mae Ashford, please visit our floral store.