Ashley Jean O'Rear

April 27, 1987 - November 24, 2001

Her absence hurts so much because
her presence brought so much joy.

This page will chronicle the attempts made by those who knew and loved Ashley to preserve her sweet memory in some very tangible ways.

(Click on any of the following links to see detailed information in the table below.)

Waxahachie Civic Center Junior High Tree Ashley's Swing
Lake Ashley O'Rear Crape Myrtles  

When Ashley was in the sixth grade, she and her classmates raised money for fourteen crape myrtles to be planted at the sixth grade center (Middle School) to help beautify the campus. Only one of those trees was planted, and it was later dug up. The new principal at the Middle School didn't want the crape myrtles.

After Ashley died, her classmates decided they wanted to plant the crape myrtles in Ashley's memory. However, after the crape myrtle fiasco at the Middle School, the thirteen remaining trees were given to the city of Waxahachie ("The Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas"), and were planted at other locations. So, Ashley's classmates raised the money AGAIN to replace those original trees so they could be planted in Ashley's memory (I think the city of Waxahachie may have pitched in as well to help replace the trees).

After much discussion among various Waxahachie Independent School District administrators and staff, it was decided to plant the trees at Waxahachie Junior High School, the school at which Ashley had spent her last two full school years. In the Fall of 2003, fourteen crape myrtle trees were planted around the campus of the Junior High in Ashley's memory. The number of trees is significant, because Ashley was fourteen years old when she died.

When Ashley was in Junior High, she worked as an "office aide" and became very good friends with some of the ladies who worked in the office. One of those ladies, Mrs. Kruger, nicknamed Ashley "Sassy". Ashley pretended to not like the name, but she really thought it was pretty cool and laughed about it. When it was learned that the crape myrtles would be planted at the Junior High in Ashley's memory, Mrs. Kruger made sure everyone knew that she wanted one of "Ashley's trees" planted right outside her office window, where she could see it every day. Instead of one, she got FOUR! This picture was taken in December 2002. I will post more pictures when the trees are in full bloom.

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