James T. Ashford passed 32 years ago, on August 07. He was born in Navasota, Tx. to the parentage of Geo. Ashford and Arcola McDonald Ashford in Grimes Co., Tx.
Jas. T. ,as he was known, received his early formal education in the Navasota School District, on the Secondary level, after which he recieved his Doctorate from the University of Iowa in Philosphy, Dr. Ashford matriculated in the Music field, with the likes of Leontyne Price, operatic soprano, in the Midwest States; furthered his studies at Talladega College - Alabama; the State of Louisiana and University of California He taught music education in the Los Angeles Public school system, prior to returning to Texas, to which he became a Professor of Music at Prarie View College ( A & M University). He served his country briefly, in the U. S. Navy.
Dr. Ashford began the long transition of creating the Ashford Mortuary, shortly, after the demise of his father, in 1972, because he viewed Navasota, needed a more deserving service for all of its' Citizens. Just before the Spring of 1975 the State Board of Morticians required a licensed Funeral Director for such an establishment, in Tx., and It was happenstance that another Grimes Co. native was available , in the person of Theodore Oliver, Sr, of Richards, Tx., who, at the time was Funeral Director, of the well known establishment of Lockwood Funeral Home, Houston, Tx.; thereby, the name in Navasota, becoming " The Ashford & Oliver Mortuary,( and, as it is said, the rest is History ).
Dr. Ashford , at his demise, was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha faternity, Kiwanis International and a member of the Church of the Living God, Navasota and Temple #18 Houston, Tx.