The Chorus of Angels gained a new member on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, just as the sun slipped below the horizon at sunset. Judy Gale Ashburn took her final breath and sang her final note and did so as she has done her entire life – with strength and with perfect pitch. Judy was born in Nashville, TN on November 9th, 1948, to Jimmy and Ann Brown, and she had one older brother, Ronnie.
Early on in her life, it was clear that Judy had been given a special gift. Music was a language that she spoke fluently from a young age, and ultimately it became the surround sound of Judy’s life. Family and Faith were the pillars upon which Judy’s life was built, but the music in her life was played legato, tying everything together into a sweet symphony that played out one verse, one movement, at a time. Judy married Tom Ashburn on June 4th, 1966. They had three children, Chris, Jeff, and Jennifer, and lived all over the US during their marriage including Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, and Missouri.
Judy loved playing softball, where she was a darn good pitcher. She owned a Dairy Queen where she served up Dilly Bars and Dairy Dips. Judy loved water sports and loved to ski, and she especially loved a raucous and competitive evening playing cards – especially Rook and Spades. Judy also loved horses and spent a lot of time on horseback checking out the Missouri landscape. But nothing defined Judy more than her love for music. Awarded acceptance to Julliard in NY, she chose instead to have a family, but spend her entire life singing, playing the piano, and sharing her gift in church. Judy’s family was especially important to her. She loved big family “get togethers” and got a big kick out of watching her kids and grandkids playing sports and participating in all kinds of activities. She also loved her “fourth child” – her RV. She, Tom, and her mother, Ann, traveled all over the country, but especially loved avoiding the Missouri winters while camping in Texas, Florida, or Arizona.
Judy is survived by her mother, Ann Cron; her beloved husband of 55 years, Tom; their three children, Chris (Anna) Ashburn of Hallsville, Jeff (Amy) Ashburn of Antlers, OK, and Jennifer (Byron) Fisher of St. Charles, MO; 7 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Judy was preceded in death by her father, Jimmy Brown, her grandmother Viola Lawrence, and her brother Ronnie Brown.
Funeral services will be 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at the Oliver Funeral Home in Centralia, MO. Interment will be in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, MO. Visitation will be from 10:00 am until service time on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at the Oliver Funeral Home in Centralia, MO. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network at BCAN.org c/o Oliver Funeral Home, P.O. Box 125, Centralia, MO 65240. Condolences may also be made to the family at www.oliverfuneralhome.net