1917 ~ 2023
It is with profound sadness the family of Alfred Benjamin “Benny” Ashley announce his passing during the early morning hours of Saturday, April 8, 2023. Benny, as he was known, was born on August 25, 1917 to parents Alta Grace and Joseph William Ashley, Sr. He was 105 years old at the time of his death. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic grade school, Phoenix Union High School, and Phoenix College. He served in the United States Navy, as a corpsman during World War II and the Korean War. Benny began his career with the Phoenix Fire Department in 1942, where he rose to the rank of Captain. He served as their Union President L493 from 1966-1967. He was the first PFD L493 Registered Lobbyist. He started the Fill the Boot Drive for Muscular Dystrophy in Arizona. He was instrumental in securing the State Pension in 1968. The Bill was signed into law in 1971 by then Governor Jack Williams. He retired from the Fire Department on December 31, 1973.
Benny was preceded in death by his parents Alta and Joseph Sr., his brothers, Joseph Jr. and Frank, infant son Gregory on March 11, 1950. He was married to his first wife Mary Patricia “Pat” Aman Ashley on June 16, 1948. She passed away on October 19, 1974. He married his second wife Ruth Alma “Ruthie” Thrift Ashley in 1977. Ruth passed away on September 17, 2001. Benny is survived by his two daughters Anita Lanphier (Walt) and Barbara Sullivan (Dan), a stepdaughter Maryann Palmer (Jerry), 3 stepsons, Tom, Bob, and Bill (Kathy) Thrift, 9 grandchildren and 5 greatgrandchildren. He will be missed immensely.
On Sunday, April 23, 2023 a visitation will be held from 3:00PM – 7:00PM with a rosary held at 6:00PM at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 24, 2023 at 10:00AM at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 N. 24th Street in Phoenix. Interment will immediately follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com