Amherst Magazine

E. Ashley Eames (Ash) '53

Deceased July 4, 2014

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50th Reunion Book Entry


In Memory

Ash Eames passed away July 4, 2014, at home in Wentworth, N.H., in the care of his wife, Deborah.

Ash’s compassion and thoughtfulness touched all who knew him. He was an exceptional athlete, student and leader, a committed educator and an effective community organizer for social change and justice.

Born in Newburyport, Mass., Ash attended Governor Dummer Academy (now the Governor’s Academy), where his father was headmaster. At Amherst, Ash served as class president, was elected to SPHINX and SCARAB, was co-captain (and All New England) in soccer, co-captain (and co-founder) of the hockey team and captain of the baseball team.

After naval service, Ash earned an M.Ed. from Harvard and an M.A. in Latin American studies from Boston University. He taught at the Lawrenceville School and then at GDA. Teaching students from inner city Boston in the A Better Chance program ignited his passion for racial justice, starting his long career in community organizing with Community Change in Boston and Friends & Families of Prisoners in Worcester, Mass.

He moved to Wentworth to teach at Baker River Academy, an alternative school. He helped found the Central American Network to coordinate the work of many groups in New Hampshire working for peace and justice, particularly in Nicaragua. Ash led delegations abroad, accompanied people under threat in El Salvador and was tireless in educating New Englanders about conditions in Central America. For this work, Ash was honored as Citizen of the Year in Plymouth, N.H., where for 30 years he was a dedicated member of the Christian Science Society.

Ash is survived by Deborah; children Ned, Polly and Henley; sister Betty; five stepchildren; 10 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and six step-great-grandchildren, as well as by all the families and children aided by Compas de Nicaragua, which springs from Ash’s original work in the barrio of La Primavera.

Deborah Stuart
Phil Ransom ’53

50th Reunion

53 E Ashley Eames.jpgLife seems to have come full circle what with batting the ball/puck around, first at Governor Dummer Academy and Amherst and now in Wentworth, NH and Sarasota, FL.

In between there was perhaps less action, but more thought involved. Teaching at Gov. Dummer and then organizing for social change at the national and international levels took a little more brain power than the ball games but probably not so good a won and lost record. 

It's funny, the story I tell most often about Amherst hardly anyone remembers, though it involved us all - the Sabrina showing at a class sing on the Frost Library steps. Come to think of it, our security must have been so tight that not many in our class knew we were making a showing. Much more dramatic was the class of '51 showing Sabrina from a Piper Cub over the ball field at a Commencement game.

Now I'm reminded of a recent mini-reunion on Cape Cod with Manson Hall, Sterling Weaver, and Rich Gray where between golf, tennis and walking sessions we discussed two books we and our wives - Deborah, Allison, Jeanne and Barb- had read. The books were John Adams and In the Shadow of the Prophet. That visit was Amherst all over again, minus the truckburger on the way back from Northampton.

On August 17th, '02 my son Ned was married to a woman from India, Dilshad Khambatta, at the Gov. Dummer chapel. This wondrous event illustrates the international and spiritual parts of my life which have blossomed in the last twenty-five years. I had the good fortune to help create a "sistering" relationship between NH and a neighborhood in Managua, Nicaragua. Also, becoming a Christian Scientist has shed new light on the meaning of life as a spiritual experience.

Needless to say, both endeavors have been challenging, but have added some interesting insights into the nature of globalism and our very existence.

Looking forward to seeing you all at Amherst next June.

 

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