James "Jim" Ashlock '54 December 14, 2020 3:28 PM updated: December 17, 2020 11:27 AM
James R. Ashlock '54
December 3, 1932 - December 12, 2020
James Robert (Jim) Ashlock, 88, passed away peacefully on December 12, 2020 in Black Mountain, NC. He was born December 3, 1932 in Baird, Texas to the late Ralph and Frances Ashlock.
Jim graduated from Baird High School in 1950 and received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M in 1954. After working at the Pecos Enterprise newspaper, he went on to earn his M.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in NY in 1957.
Jim was a newspaperman at heart and had a passion for aviation and public/government affairs. These passions provided him the opportunities to work for (in order) The San Angelo Standard-Times, The Kansas City Star, Trans World Airlines (Public Relations), Aviation Week magazine, Eastern Airlines (Public and Government Affairs), Tallahassee, FL Chamber of Commerce (President), and finally back where it all began at Texas A&M University.
Jim was a part of the airline business when it was going through some of its most transformational changes. He helped foster in the move from piston to jet powered aircraft, oversaw the introduction of computers into all aspects of airline operations, was the face of Eastern Airlines in Miami, FL during challenging union negotiations and helped comfort employees, passengers, and relatives after a number of catastrophic aircraft accidents. Most of his professional life was spent in Miami, Fl and Tallahassee Fl.
His love for Texas A&M and his west Texas roots were ever-present. He was the quintessential “Old Ag”, rarely leaving home without his Aggie outerwear. Additionally, he cherished his trips back to Baird, Pecos, The Davis Mountains, and El Paso.
Jim always enjoyed a good story and was truly never alone. He made friends quickly and made them for life. He was an ardent bass fisherman, crossword puzzle finisher, story writer, and trivia savant. He had an infectious laugh that was hard to forget. He was a compassionate husband, loving father, and doting grandfather. As an only-child, his family was what mattered most in his life.
Jim’s affiliations included the Aviation /Space Writers Association, Public Relations Advisory Committee (Florida Society), Greater Miami Aviation Association (President), Eastern Airlines Miami Management Council, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (Trustee), Florida Chamber of Commerce (Director), Florida Governor’s Tourism Promotion Funding Task Force, Florida State Tourism Advisory Council, and…of course….The Texas A&M Association of Former Students.
Jim is survived by his children, Mary Frances Spivey (Mike), Will Ashlock (Mary) and Jennifer Ashlock; and grandchildren Jessica Spivey, Michelle Grannes (Dan), Parker Ashlock, and Jamie Ashlock.
He will be interred at the Ross Cemetery in Baird, TX.
A scholarship endowment in Jim’s name is being established at Texas A&M. Donations in his name (James Robert Ashlock, 54) can be sent to the Texas A&M Foundation at 401 George Bush Dr, College Station, TX 77840.