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With heartfelt sympathy, we announce the earthly transition of Irene Isabella Ash of Gadsden, who traded time for eternity on Monday, January 1, 2024, at the age of 96. We ask that you keep her family and friends in your prayers during this difficult time.
Irene Ash was the 5th child born to the late Zachariah and Sylvester Jones on September 29, 1927, in Wetumpka, Alabama (Elmore County).
She received a strong foundation from her parents teaching their children to love God, love everybody, and treat everybody right. Whatever name you called Ms. Irene Ash, “Mama”, “Grandmama”, “sister”, or “friend”, you undoubtedly heard those words from her.
She joined Mt. Canaan Baptist Church at an early age, under the leadership of Rev. Phillips. Irene received most of her early education in Elmore County.
She later was blessed with three glorious children by her first husband, Burnell Gunn. “Mother” was the title she held dear to her heart. Subsequently, she remarried and was honored to raise an additional seven children with her late husband, Leon Ash. Irene never really stopped raising children; she was truly the matriarch of her family and served as a mother to many. Some were blood relatives and others were just adopted by her love.
After rearing her ten children, she returned to her love of learning and completed her GED from the University of Alabama. Irene remained a lifelong learner who had a passion for developing her knowledge in areas that she could share with others. Her favorite book by far was the Bible. Irene Ash was rooted and grounded in The Word. She was a God-fearing, faithful woman, and servant-leader. She served as a Sunday School Teacher at Galilee Baptist Church for several years. She also found that her love for music was the perfect note to bridge her desire for learning, teaching, and fondness for children. With all her life experience and entering into her senior years, she set out to learn how to play the piano. And no good gift could Mrs. Ash withhold, so she became a music teacher. She had dozens of students over the years, mainly young people, and hosted music recitals in her home.
Mrs. Irene Ash forever remained devoted to God, family, church, and her community. She gained her final rest in her home, where likely hundreds had been fed by her hands and more prayed over.
The loss of this dynamic and majestic soul will be felt by everyone who knew and loved her. Though she nearly graced this earth for almost a century, it seems the time was just not enough. Despite our selfish desires, she has been released into a peaceful slumber where she will suffer no more.
There were many who went before her and more left behind.
She is preceded in death by her father and mother, Zachariah and Sylvester Jones; siblings, James, Lorene, Wesley, Samuel, and Rosie; and her beloved children, Roger Gunn and Sylvia Gaston.
She is survived by her children, Wilson Gunn, Geronica Jackson, Bertha (Jerome) Tate, Bobbie (Fletcher) Grady, Robert (Wonetta) Ash, Richard (Jackie) Ash, Mary Alice (Michael) Stephens, and Precious Douthard. Irene was a grandmother to over twenty hearts who loved her dearly. She was a great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother to a host of children. And her heart was big enough to love each one of them.
It is with heavy hearts and deep gratitude that we dedicate this space to celebrate the life and legacy of a remarkable soul, Sister Irene Jones Ash, who left this physical earth to be totally with the Lord on January 1, 2024. For over two decades, her unwavering support and contributions have been the heartbeat of The Reporter Monthly Newspaper.
A Pillar of Support
Sister Irene was more than a contributor; she was the nurturing force behind the scenes, akin to a motherly figure in my life. Her dedication and guidance have been instrumental in shaping the essence of this publication. In moments of uncertainty, she stood as a steady pillar of support, offering not only her professional insights but also her compassionate ear.
The Guiding Light
Beyond the realm of journalism, Sister Irene's impact transcended into personal realms. Her wisdom helped navigate the intricate tapestry of life, providing counsel that went beyond the ink on the pages. Her spirit radiated strength, and her unwavering faith in God served as a guiding light, reminding us all to keep our faith strong and to seek divine guidance in all endeavors.
A Motherly Confidante
In the rollercoaster of life, Sister Irene was not just a mentor but a confidante who assumed a maternal role. Her ability to instill confidence and offer sage advice made her an invaluable presence in my life. Countless decisions were made sounder with her input, and challenges seemed surmountable under her reassuring guidance.
Living by Example
Sister Irene's life exemplified the principles she espoused. Her actions spoke volumes, and her commitment to goodness and grace left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to cross her path. She wasn't just a mentor in words but a living testament to the values she preached.
Carry On, My Friend: As we bid farewell to a dear friend, Sister Irene's spirit resonates in the very essence of The Reporter Monthly Newspaper. Though her physical presence may be absent, her legacy lives on in the words we print and the values we uphold. She would undoubtedly encourage us to forge ahead, to persevere, and to carry on the torch of truth and integrity.
Ms. Irene Jones Ash, you may have left our earthly realm, but your memory will forever dwell in my heart. Your love, guidance, and unwavering faith will continue to inspire me as I carry on. Rest in peace, dear friend.
You are dearly loved and profoundly missed.
With heartfelt condolences,
Reporter Monthly Newspaper