LTC Raoul Raefield Ashby was born July 2, 1928 in Moscow, Idaho and died on Oct. 8, 2018 in Early. In his decade-long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Ashby received dedicated and compassionate attention from the professionals at Care Nursing and Rehabilitation, whose attendants affectionately called him The Colonel. LTC Ashby had been a resident at Care since January, 2015.
Ashby graduated from Moscow High School in 1947 and from the University of Idaho in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. Ashby was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, where he served with distinction for 20 years, including combat tours in Korea and Vietnam. While deployed in Southeast Asia, he was awarded the Bronze Star twice, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, two Meritorious Service Commendation Medals, and also the Soldiers Medal, the highest award given for saving a life in a noncombat situation. Ashby was Ranger qualified and a Senior Parachutist, with combat assignments in the 82nd Airborne Division in Korea and the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. Ashby was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Ashby completed his military career as the Professor of Military Science at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, where he led the University’s ROTC program. He was also assigned to performed area notification duties for fallen Vietnam soldiers, a responsibility he once said was more difficult than even his worst day of active combat.
Following his honorable discharge from military service, Ashby moved to Kalispell, Montana, where he lived for two years and taught high school social science. In 1974 the Ashbys returned to Wichita Falls, where he owned and operated the Acme Personnel Service and Express Personnel Service. Ashby retired in 1987.
LTC Ashby was engaged in civic affairs, even after his retirement. Ashby was a 35-year member of the Downtown Rotary Club in Wichita Falls, Texas, where he served as president in 1981 – 1982 and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. Ashby was a long-time dedicated member of First Presbyterian Church in Wichita Falls, where he served as elder and president of the Adelphia Sunday School class. Ashby was a member of the Resident Council of Presbyterian Manor, serving multiple terms as president. An avid model railroader, Ashby’s other life-long hobbies included hunting, fishing and shooting sports.
Raoul Ashby married his high school sweetheart, the late Florence Joan Robinson of Moscow, Idaho. They were married April 13, 1949 and remained married for 57 years. Florence preceded Raoul in death on December 10, 2006. Raoul is survived by his two children, Dr. Frank Robinson Ashby (Leisha Ann) of Gig Harbor, WA, and Mrs. Ann Marie Ashby Tew (Mark) of Brownwood, TX. Committed to higher education, Ashby provided for his children’s formal education. Frank earned degrees from Midwestern State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Ann from Texas Woman’s University and the University of Alabama. At the time of his death, Ashby knew his five grandchildren, Frank Robinson Ashby, Jr., Emily Sue Ashby, Maria Elyse Tew Weeks (Robert - USMC), Clara Ashby Tew Owenby and Elizabeth Nicole Tew Bean (Ryan - USArmy). Ashby