Jean Berry Ashley


Jean Berry Ashley heard “Well done, my good and faithful servant” from her Savior, Jesus Christ on July 14, 2021 after a valiant and courageous 33 month battle with cancer.

Her life was a living example of her two favorite Bible verses: Phil 2:3-4” Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking for your own interests but the interests of others.” and Eph. 4:32. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another just as God also forgave you in Christ.”

Jean graduated from Appalachian University with a Bachelor’s Degree in education and received her Master’s Degree in education administration at East Carolina University. She was a member of Roxboro Baptist Church.

She had a heart for people. She was an educator… both in the classroom and at her store. Her love for her students and her God-given talent of teaching touched many lives over her 34 years in the classroom.  Many of those years were spent teaching 7th and 8th grade math at Northern Middle/Jr. High.  In addition, Jean taught life lessons and treated her customers at the Handi Cupboard like family for over 40 years. She was selfless and a hard worker.

During her illness, she took time away from work and enjoyed trips to Emerald Isle. She loved walks on the beach and beating anyone who challenged her to Chinese checkers, a skill she learned as a small girl from her grandmother, Ma Berry.

The daughter of the late Clyde and Alma Berry, Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years J. Arnold Ashley. She will be dearly missed by her loved ones who celebrate the fact that she is with her Lord and Savior. She is survived by her daughter, Twyla Ashley-Cates and son-in-law, Scott Cates and grand-fur baby, Graycee. During her illness, Graycee spent almost every moment in Grandma’s lap while keeping a watchful eye to let Twyla know if Grandma needed help.

Also surviving are her sisters, Wilma Foushee and Joyce Snipes (Alfred) and brother, Bill Berry (Bonnie) and a host of nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 7 pm on Friday, July 16 at Brooks and White Funeral home, Roxboro.  Visitation will be held at the Brooks and White Chapel for one hour prior to the service and other times at the Handi Cupboard (2932 Durham Road, Roxboro) per her request.

Honorary Pallbearers: Wesley Strader, Earnest Bowes, Jimmy Simpson, Thomas Bailey, Clay Dorsett, Doug Thorpe, Glenn Stovall, Michael Whitt, Jr., Jason England, Ashley Wallace, Kevin Berry, Shawn Sullivan and everyone at Bowes Collision, our neighbors on the other corner.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be to Roxboro Baptist Church, PO Box 348, Roxboro, NC 27573; Berry’s Grove Baptist Church, 9628 Berry Pearce Rd., Timberlake, NC 27583 or Emerald Isle Sea Turtle Patrol, 312 West Firetower Road, Peletier, NC 28584.

Twyla would like to thank Dr. Hy Muss and his oncology team as well as Meredith Keisler and the palliative care group at UNC for their magnificent care during her cancer battle.   

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