Obituaries & Tributes

Tributes: Robert Ernest Ash & Darlene Laverne Ash

Robert & Darlene Ash

Robert Ernest Ash: Jan. 2, 1936 – Nov. 7, 2020

Darlene Laverne Ash: Oct. 24, 1940 – Nov. 7, 2020

Robert Ernest Ash (84) of Cottage Grove, Ore., was born on Jan. 2, 1936 to Zine and Lorena Ash in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Darlene Laverne Ash (80) of Cottage Grove, Ore., was born on Oct. 24, 1940 to Charles and Vernice Millard in Los Angeles.

Robert and Darlene passed away peacefully together hand in hand on Nov. 7, 2020.

Robert graduated from Victory High School in West Virginia in 1953.

Darlene graduated from Mission Bay High School in California in 1957.

Robert and Darlene met in Long Beach, Calif., and were married in Nevada on Nov. 9, 1965.

They would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on Nov. 9, 2020.

Robert had enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1953 where he spent the next 20 years serving his country abroad numerous aircraft carriers – USS Saipan CVL-48, USS Kitty Hawk CVA-63 and USS Hornet CVS-12, during the Korea and Vietnam era, including being a crew member of the recovery of the Apollo 11 and the Apollo 12. He started his Navy career as an E-1 apprentice and retired as an E-6 Petty Officer with a rank of Aviation Boatsanmate Equipment First Class (ABEL 1) and with many awards.

During his naval career, he was a training carrier for naval aviators, Security Divisions Master at Arms Force, worked in the V-2 division in catapults and arresting gears, launching and recovery. He did a few cruises to the West Pak, shore duty on Whidbey Island, Washington, was sent to AB school in New Jersey, eventually transferred to NAS in Lemoore, California where he retired in 1973. During Robert’s Naval career, Darlene was a Naval wife and homemaker.

After their Navy retirement, they moved their family to Chino, Calif., where Robert became a truck driver and Darlene was a homemaker and Avon Sales Representative.

There, they raised their family and enjoyed extended family gatherings and parties, card games with friends, family vacations and being on bowling leagues and traveling to tournaments.

They started their own trucking company and became the proud owners of Eagle Trucking. They ran a successful business for 24 years then decided to retire and move to Cottage Grove in 2000.

They lived their retirement years doing what they loved most – traveling, attending Navy reunions, attending high school reunions, visiting with friends and neighbors, dining out, telling stories of the past, working on the Publicity Committee for the USS Hornet Association, and spending time with their family. They made friends everywhere. 

Robert and Darlene were great friends and neighbors, loving parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. They will be greatly missed by all who knew them.

They are survived by their children:

Patti & Jimmy Buse, Dorene & Lane Stahl, Jay Jones, Robert & Robin Andrews, and Denise & Phillip Munies; grandchildren Kalee Buse, Kelsey Buse, Jessica & Brandon Horton, Jonathan Herrick, Sherry & Danny Tocco, Jimmy & Leigha Jones III, Sarah & Bill Lawson, Steven & Lena Brooker, Meghan & Curtis Vancil, Samantha Andrews, and Emily Munies; great-grandchildren Berkeley Stevens, Cameron Moore, James Tocco, Daniel Tocco, Breanna Wells, Bailey Wells, Bryson Wells, Shelby Horton, Cameron Horton, Colby Horton, Amy Jones, Kaleigh Jones, Mikey Jones, Brendon Jones, James Jones IIII, Aidan Jones, Liam Jones, Nikolas Viruet, Ely Viruet, Ansley Vancil, and Aubrey Vancil.

They were preceded in death by their son, James Jones Jr., their parents Zine & Lorena Ash, Charles & Vernice Millard, their siblings, Joe Ash, Fred Ash, Mary Bailey, Virginia Herman, and Charles Millard Jr.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 at Cottage Grove Faith Center, 33761 Row River Rd, Cottage Grove, Ore.

Interment with Military Honors will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 16 at Roseburg National Cemetery, 913 NW Garden Valley Blvd, Roseburg. Flowers may be sent to Cottage Grove Faith Center Memorial donations preferred to: In Memory of Robert and Darlene Ash to USS Hornet Museum, Wounded Warriors, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos