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  

On Tuesday, May 28, 2002, Susan, Justin and I went to Waxahachie Junior High School for a special dedication. The WJHS PTO had made arrangements for a tree to be planted in front of the school and dedicated in Ashley's memory. They also purchased a marble bench and a dedication marker to be placed in front of the tree. The dedication ceremony included several of Ashley's friends and teachers sharing their memories of Ashley. It was very touching.

(Click on a picture to see it enlarged.)

On the Friday prior to the dedication ceremony, we met Perry Giles of Giles Monument Company at the Junior High to show them where we wanted the bench and marker placed. Perry is the same man who made the headstone for Ashley's grave. This picture shows his employees carefully placing the bench and marker in front of the tree, which had been planted earlier the same day.
The bench is made of beautiful white marble, and has the words "IN LOVING MEMORY OF ASHLEY O'REAR" inscribed on the front.

The memorial marker was placed just in front of the bench. The inscription reads:

1987 - 2001
May 28, 2002

Here is a picture of the bench and tree, looking from the main entrance toward to parking lot.
Here is a picture of the tree, looking from the parking lot toward the school. Notice the bench is not yet in place. I took this picture before Perry and his crew arrived to place the bench and marker.
Click here to see pictures from the tree dedication ceremony
This beautiful young lady is Desi, one of Ashley's dearest and truest friends. We made a special trip to the Junior High late one afternoon to take Desi and let her see the bench and tree.
The original tree, which was dedicated on May 28, died a few weeks later. The Waxahachie Independent School District replaced the tree with this one, and the custodial staff at the Junior took a personal interest in making sure that this tree was planted properly and watered adequately to keep it alive. We sincerely appreciate their efforts.
Here is another view of the second tree, looking back toward the school. Notice that the school's flag is flying at half-mast. This picture was taken on September 11, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC. It also just happened to be the one-year anniversary of Ashley's cancer relapse (the day on which the MRI was taken which revealed that Ashley's cancer had returned).

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