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County's Oldest Gold Star Mother Dies

Daniel Prince

Azilee Ashe passes away at 96; her son, Frank Barbee, was killed in action in Vietnam in 1966

Union County’s oldest Gold Star Mother died Sunday. 96-year-old Azilee Ashe passed away at Heartland of Union. Ashe’s son, Frank Leroy Barbee, was killed in action in the Vietnam War, felled by small arms fire on August 28, 1966, at the age of 20. Ashe was a fixture at the county’s Veterans Day ceremonies as she remembered her son and was honored as a Gold Star Mother. Ashe has two living siblings and three living daughters. Frankie Barbee was her only son.

Funeral services for Azilee Ashe will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 22, at the S.R. Holcombe Funeral Chapel, conducted by Rev. Don Turner. Burial will follow at Bullock Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. prior to the services at the S.R. Holcombe Funeral Chapel.

With Ashe’s death, Union County’s only known Gold Star Mother is Lisa Bell, who lost her son, Jason Wilburn, on January 12, 2009, at the age of 30, while stationed on active duty at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The county’s only known Gold Star Spouse is City Councilwoman Pamela Sloss, who lost her husband, Sgt. Jeffrey Sloss, on May 27, 2004, shortly after returning from deployment.

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