Latrelle Ashley, age 76 and a resident of the Forkville community, passed away in the early hours of Saturday, February 1, at his home after a brief illness.
A memorial service was held at New Hope Fellowship church in Pelahatchie, Wednesday, February 5. Brother Billy Ray Parker officiated, and Latrelle's brother, John Ashley shared many childhood memories.
Latrelle graduated from Bay Springs High School in 1961 and attended college at Jones County Jr. College and University of Southern MS. He was a teacher and football coach in Mount Olive and State Line, where he led several teams to state championships. Other jobs he had through the years included that of Tax Commissioner of the State of Mississippi, co-owner of Ashley's Sporting Goods, co-owner of Magnolia Publishing Company which published books on Mississippi History and Civics. However, the job that was dearest to his heart was his loving relationship with his wife; three daughters ;three granddaughters and one great granddaughter. He loved his family and he loved the Lord.
In his younger years he enjoyed participating in any type of sport, especially basketball, football and golf. Recently his favorite past time was to sit on his back porch and look at the beauty of his land reflected in the waters of the pond. He would sit for hours watching the rain on the water or watching ducks and geese cruise the pond. His last years were very peaceful ones. He often commented to family members how very much the Lord had blessed him with a loving family , beautiful home and his health.
Latrelle was preceded in death by his parents, Homer Lee Ashley and Laura Elizabeth (Betty) Hosey. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lanee Fairchild Ashley, and three daughters, Shontelle Barns (Kary), LaChelle Ashley (Chris), Lauren Stuart (Seth), and three granddaughters, Montanna Tucker (Garrett), Mayson Barnes, Madyson Gibson, and one great granddaughter, Piper Tucker, one sister, Robbie Ulmer (Otis Dale), and two brothers, John Ashley (Bobby) and Joe Ashley.
Upon closing Monday, February 3, the Mississippi Senate paid tribute to his memory. Members of the Senate recognized him for his years of service to our state as Chief of Staff for Governor Cliff Finch as well as Director of several state agencies. At the time of his retirement, Latrelle was employed by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks where he served as Director over 27 of our beautiful state parks.