Neartown Church

Memories of Ash

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I am truly honored to have known Ash and had been able to call him a friend. I met Ash some years ago when I cold called him to ask for his participation in my Beer Summit. I had a very little budget so I couldn’t pay much for his services. He told me not to worry he would be happy to volunteer. The day of my event Ash and the staff of Duff were in full force pouring beer for the 400+ attendees. Without his help my event would not had been successful.

Ash was always so helpful and supportive; he never expected anything in return.

His overall positive attitude and knowledge for beer made a huge impression on my bosses at the radio station. Last summer Duff approached the station about getting involved for an event with Southern Star Brewery. Duff didn’t have the funds to pay the station to be a sponsor but without hesitation my bosses gave the green light. When planning the events I had many great lunches with Ash and I really got to know him.

He was very proud to be a husband and a father. The smile he had while talking about his family proved the love he had for them. That is what I will always remember about Ash, his giant smile. It is easy to understand why Ash was loved by so many.

Ash taught me a lot and I will forever cherish the times I spent with him. God bless him and his family.

I raise a pint in honor of him.


James Simpson


I love Ash. There are a few special people on whose skin you can see that they have been touched by God, and I think Ash was one of them. I met him in Fall 2011 and hugged him before I said a single word to him. He had the jolliest eyes – I just knew he was going to be Santa Claus in every grade school production in about 25 years.

Trey Gonzales


Caire F: “Mommy, are the Rowells family?”
Paige: “Well… yes… but they are family we were lucky enough to be able to choose.”

Paige Fajkus


My most memorable experience with Ash was the day we did family photos. Though I had known him from church for a couple of years, I never had the pleasure of spending actual time with him until this day.

Lesli and Ash welcomed me into their home while everyone was running around trying to finish getting ready. Ash was trying to help Ethan find his shoes while I assured Lesli that everyone looked fantastic! Ash’s mother Charlotte was also there too!

As I was getting everything ready and headed to my car, Ash asked if I wanted to just ride with them and I thought, “We’ll that is nice of him to offer,” so I said sure! While Lesli and Charlotte rode in the front and Stella and I on the second row, Ash happily crammed himself in the last row of seats with the kiddos. I remembered thinking, “Man, what a nice guy!”

As we drove around to a couple different locations and a food stop for the kiddos, I had the pleasure of watching this family interact with each other. I was amazed with the amount of patience Ash had with the children. Of course we all love our children, but his interaction with them was something special. We joked about Lia naming the thanksgiving turkey Chad, my husbands name, we talked about relationships, jobs, our kids and just life. We had great laughs and Ash’s mother was such a hoot and so happy and helpful just like her son. I was really touched when Ash told me how wow’ed he was with Chad and everything he had been through. I already knew how highly Chad thought of Ash so knowing he saw Chad in his own special light was really sweet and meant a lot to us both.

The shoot itself was a lot of fun! Stella took the lead and the rest of us followed suit behind her.

On our way home Ash was talking with Ethan about what comfy clothes they planned to put on as soon as they got home. When we made it home I came inside for a bit and within minutes Ash came out in those comfy clothes and a smile on his face while poor Ethan came out in his underwear because he thought I was gone!

When I finally left I called Chad and shared my experience and told him I had such a great time and how awesome the family dynamic was. I pointed out to Chad how wonderful I thought Ash was. So calm, collected, and man….such a good dad! Chad was in Ash’s small group so he knew Ash a little more personally than I. He responded, “I told you!” I also told Chad, “I really hope we can become close with them because they are such great people and such a great family to be around!” My heart is broken that we will not get that opportunity as a complete family but I am grateful for the lovely afternoon with the Rowell family and I will cherish it forever.

Lesli, thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience your family for a few hours that day. I had such a wonderful time and it was one of the best family sessions I have ever done. I hope I was able to create special memories for you of that day and ones that last a lifetime. That session, your family, and dear sweet Ash will forever have a place in my heart and I hope my own family will one day radiate as much love and light as yours does. And Stella will forever be Cadel’s first kiss and I am glad it was with a sweet girl from a wonderful family! ;)

We love you!

Jaclyn T.


Ash was genuinely down to earth and quick to spark up a conversation. Always happy, laughing and joking; he was just a great guy to be around. He made many friends and I’m lucky to count myself among them.

One conversation that I had with Ash sticks out in my mind. We were talking once about family and whether or not a third child would be in the cards for either of our respective families. Many of our mutual friends had cautioned us about adding a third child. I was never quite sure how much truth was behind their jokes when they would say “Don’t do it. You don’t know what you’re getting into… Three is nothing like two.” Ash didn’t care about any of that. He said he loved being a dad and said that he wanted nothing more than having another child.

He was blessed with two great children in Ethan and Lia. Later he and Leslie were blessed with a third great child in Stella. He loved his family.

He will be missed, but not forgotten.

Mike Sanchez


I can honestly say that Ash was the best person I’ve met in this business.

He was the friendliest and nicest person, never had a hard word for anyone and always seemed to be happy to see me. I can honestly say that he was the one guy I would say treated me like a brother in the business and honestly meant what he said.

I will miss him and his sense of humor everyday and am praying for his family… we will all meet again and have a beer with all the angels in Heaven.

John Slaughter


I first met Ash about 3 years ago as I was the Coke rep for Montrose/Midtown and would often see him around the area a few times a week. I can honestly say he was one of the friendliest and most genuine people I have ever met, the entire time always being very mellow and easygoing. The conversations we shared always started about craft beer but would often end talking about life or family, or maybe just more beer. I remember how excited Ash was for me when my wife and I were able to buy our first home. I always felt like I was a better person after a conversation with him. I wish the best for his family.

Robert Weber


Ash could be described as a renaissance man. He was the first person I ever met who could discuss the subtle flavors of a craft beer, why and how you would brine a chicken and how one could make biodiesel from peanut oil.

There are many memories I could share, but they run together to one overarching memory: that of a great family man and a sincerely wonderful friend.

Ash was a joy to be around, and I will always miss his infectious enthusiasm and optimistic outlook. He was, simply put, a good man.

Nelson Haight


Ash was always so much fun and I just wanted to share one of my memories that I think depicts his personality. One night, Marshall Horton, Jeff Horner and I were hanging out with Ash at the apartment behind his parents house. He had two canvases up on the wall. One was completely painted green and the other painted yellow. When I looked at them I couldn’t help but think of post-it notes. So when he asked what we wanted to do, I said, “I would really like to paint on one of those plain paintings.” The next thing I knew he came back with some paint and we painted all over the green one together. To this day that is still one of my most special memories because it was pure fun, just like Ash.


Angela Horton


In Jamaica my husband and Ash went up on one of the night time activities. It was Ash who stole the show wiggling his hips as instructed by lady on the stage! He was so much fun and a great sport.

Lots of love,

Zac, Fiona, Duncan and Keira Glasford


I met Ash a few years ago and had the opportunity to spend time with him on several occasions. I found Ash to be very friendly, genuine, and down to earth. Also, someone who was passionate about his Family and his business. I enjoyed spending time with Ash talking about our great industry over beers.

He was a gifted, special person, and will be missed greatly.

Flint Prewitt


I’ve had the privilege of spending time with Ash the past few years through Neartown’s Men’s Bible Study.

I always looked forward to seeing him every week – he always had a smile on his face and a funny story to tell. More importantly, he ALWAYS talked about his family. He loved Lesli and his children, and he constantly wanted to make their lives better through the way he lived his life.

I’m definitely going to miss you Ash. You were a great example of a husband, father, and friend.

Shaun Felechner


Hi, This is Lisa Marie McLaughlin, a friend of Lesli and Ash’s. I posted this video today because it captured my typical memory of Ash. He was always such a magnetic personality and kids were especially drawn to him. He was such a warm and playful father and all the kids were always hugging on him or sitting on his lap. I’ll miss his hugs, which he always shared so generously.

Lisa Marie McLaughlin


I wanted to share with you how much my husband and I admired, respected and truly Liked Ash. He always made everyone feel at ease. He was easy to talk to, someone you really wanted to hang around with. He was someone I was always glad to see even if we just said hi in passing. He always shared his smile. The best though was always a chat. Always left a chat with Ash laughing, usually laughing till it hurt. I will miss the laughs, I will miss them a lot.

Leslie there are no words. I cannot fathom the pain you must be in. I am deeply sorry for your loss. His love for you and the children was so plain to see. A love like that is so special, such a gift, my heart breaks for you.

We pray for you. We are here for you too.

Anything you need.

Danae & all


Ash will always have a special place in my memory. He was one of the first people to get excited and “on-board” when we announced our intentions of opening a brewery. (He even helped us decide on some special releases). He was always there for Q&A sessions and was excited every time we had new developments and announcements.

It’s truly a great loss for our community and he will be greatly missed.

Lesli and the kids are in our prayers.

Joshua Haley


Stella needs pink tennis balls for her first picture – Ash drives and looks everywhere to find them – I believe he was successful. Not all husbands and fathers would spend their day doing this, but that seems to be how Ash was. He loved his family, remembered they came first and bent over backwards trying to love and care for them. He was a wonderful example of a loving husband and father for the other men he came in contact with.

Jen N.


Ash gave generously without question to those in need. I needed help at one point and he swooped in to save the day without being asked, giving without hesitation. God worked through him no doubt, and Ash made himself available for God to use. His help has effected my life everyday since I received it, and my life would be dramatically different had I not received it. I believe he gave as Matthew 6:3 states – But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I believe Ash has many crowns and rewards stored in Heaven and I thank God daily for the work that He did through Ash in so many people’s lives.

Jen N.


I remember Ash walking the kids to and from school, greeting me as Mrs. Yanowski. Through that simple exchange, he demonstrated a beautiful act of manners and graciousness. He taught by example and with love and a smile. He is missed.

Donna Yanowski