Memorial Service for Ashley Stanhope, 93, of Baker will be held 11:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at Stevenson Funeral Home Baker. Military will be presented by American Legion Post #35. Private burial will take place.
Please feel free to wear your best "Stanhope" plaid and jeans in honor of Ashley.
Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service.
Ashley passed away February 15, 2023 at Fallon Medical Complex in Baker.
Maurice Ashley Stanhope was born on November 18, 1929. He was a home birth on the prairies of Cabin Creek northwest of Baker. Ashley was the first born of Robert and Betty (Thomas) Stanhope. He moved to Baker with his family when it was time to enroll in school and attended Washington School often cutting across frozen Baker Lake to get there. Ash started working early in life. As a young lad he went to work for a farmer south of town, harnessing the work horses. He had to climb the stall walls to throw the harness on them as they were twice as tall as he was. Ash and his lifelong friend (Herb Varner) would often ride for Avon Lester gathering horses that were on the open prairie. They would corral them and pull their tail and mane hair to sell. During this time he also worked for John Bechtold. As a teen he worked for Wally Hufford unloading box cars, hauling the loads to various merchants. Ash dropped out of school at 16 and went to work for Wally trucking full time. When Ash turned seventeen he asked his mother to sign for him to join the Army. She finally agreed to sign if he would wait until after Christmas. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp on January 6, 1947 and attended basic training in Biloxi, MS. While in the Army he completed his GED. That year the Army split off the Air Corp into the U.S. Air Force and he was given the choice to stay in the Army or go into the Air Force. He chose Air Force and was sent to B-29 school at Chanute Air Force Base, Rantoul, IL. Ash finished his training June 1, 1948 and was stationed in Alaska. He was given a letter of commendation for his work there, developing a wire harness that could be swapped out of the planes upon landing in the time it took them to refuel. Ash was honorably discharged November 29, 1949 as a Sergeant. Returning home he did many different jobs, including driving the mail bus between Baker and Lemmon. Ash started pipelining for Ross & Powers operating the ditching machine. He made many lifelong friends and memories pipelining in the Dakota’s, Wyoming and Montana. He attended welding school with his brother Lyle in Oklahoma. In 1956 he began his career at Farmers Union Oil Company in Baker. He was a successful businessman giving many a job opportunity until retirement on September 30, 2008.
Ashley gave back to the community throughout his life. He served on the Baker Volunteer Fire Department from 1961 through 1982, the school board from 1970 through 1979, and the Fallon County Fair Board from 1975 through 2006. Ash was instrumental in building the indoor arena and sponsoring the indoor rodeos. He very much believed in Baker and his life was a tribute to his community.
Ash married Nina D. (Fisk) Bailey on February 23, 1952. Three children were born to this union, Steven E., Barbara R., and Robert W. Stanhope. They later divorced. On November 6, 1975 Ashley married Elaine (Maychrzak) Williams. She brought two children to the marriage, Curt and Lora, whom he adopted, completing his family of five children. Ash loved his children and made sure they were taken care of in every way. He was completely won over by each grandchild as they came into his life and lived for visits, calls, cards etc. Ash was very proud of them. He really loved sitting on the patio with family having a beer or two and telling stories. As the grands grew and had families he was excited with each great grandchild as well. Ash was very close to his siblings having five brothers and two sisters. Many card games were played and many stories told around the table.
Ashley is survived by his wife Elaine; his sons Steve (Julie) Stanhope, Robert (Kristie) Stanhope, and Curt Williams; his daughters Barbara Stanhope and Lora (Kent) Ketterling; his grandchildren Lauren (Josh) Celander, Lisa (Samuel) Cavedo, Lexi Stanhope, Tanner Fischer, Jamie (Ty) Tescher, Nate (Val) Stanhope, Kalli (Jeff) Allen, Blake (Rachel) Stanhope, Chase (Anna) Ketterling, Trace Ketterling and Kayla Ketterling; great grandchildren Logan, Bentlee, Maddex, Callahan, and Walker Ash Stanhope, Olivia and Hadley Allen, and Aurora Celander; his sisters Jean Hanratty and J.C. Stanhope; brothers Roger (Judy) Stanhope and Lane (Robin) Stanhope.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Lyle, Merlin Dale, and Robert Neal Stanhope; brother-in-law Walt Hanratty; sisters-in-law Joann and Mary Lou Stanhope and great grandson Wilder Tescher.
Ashley will be thoroughly missed and his memories cherished. Memorials may be made in his memory to the Community Cupboard, PO Box 1025, Baker, MT 59313.