Mollie Ashmore called Hinesville her home all 96 years of her life. She died Sunday, and while friends and family members prepared for her funeral services today, they remembered “Miss Mollie,” not just for her personal accomplishments but for her honest, straight-forward demeanor.
“She was a remarkable lady,” said Jim Floyd Jr., recently retired president and chief executive officer of The Heritage Bank. “There was never any doubt where you stood with Miss Mollie. I worked with her when I first started to work at (then Hinesville) Bank at age 16. I was chairman of the hospital authority when she donated the land for Lewis Ashmore Medical Park.”
Lewis Ashmore was Miss Mollie’s father. Her mother was Bessie Peel Ashmore. Miss Mollie was the sixth of seven daughters. And though she never married, she “helped raise” several of her nieces and nephews, according to Ilene Bond, one of those nieces who remember her fondly.
“She helped raise my family,” Bond said. “My daddy died when I was 6, and she helped my mama and three other sisters. One thing I remember about her was her love for gardening, especially flowers. In fact, I think she kept up her camellias and azaleas garden through 2010. She was just a fine woman.”
Bond said her aunt stayed in pretty good health until only a few months ago, although she had cut one of her hands severely early last year, which limited what she was able to do for herself, such as tend her flower garden. She’s proud that her aunt was the first woman “ordinary” judge in Liberty County, a position she was re-elected for several times until she resigned to start a new career with the bank, where she worked in bookkeeping. Bond said her aunt stayed with the bank until 1978 or 1979, when she “sorta” retired so she could take care of her younger sister, who was stricken with cancer.
Barbara Smith remembered her great-aunt Mollie warmly and talked about the family matriarch as a woman more than willing to tell you what she thought.
“She was very straight forward,” Smith explained. “She’d tell you, ‘I’m not being hard; I’m just being truthful.’ You know, she lived through the (Great) Depression, and she kept that in mind all her life, but she was a very humble person. There aren’t very many of her generation left.”
Smith said her aunt was also devoted to her church. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church for 88 or her 96 years.
“She was probably the oldest member of the church,” Smith said then paused a moment. “The family loved her. Everybody loved her. She will be missed.”