Sun Staff Reports
Ashley O. Jones III passed away from cardiac arrest on Sept. 25 shortly after doing his morning swim — one of his favorite activities.
Ash, as he was known to many, was born Sept. 2, 1931. He was a history teacher and swim and water polo coach at Alameda High School (AHS) for several decades. He remained a substitute teach at AHS until recently. He also taught at Haight Elementary and ran programs at Island High school.
He and his wife Lynn bought their Alameda home in 1955. He was married to Lynn for 48 years, before she passed in 2003.
Ash also was a big proponent of activism. His activism began more than five decades ago, and his rebellion even earlier. At the age of five he’d already developed an instinctual distrust of authority, and “since then any authority that has not measured up, I’ve been rebellious against,” said Jones in a 2018 Alameda Sun article.
Ash joined the NAACP in 1964 to protest the displacement of residents of the Estuary Housing Projects. Ash and fellow protestors began a three-day camp-out in Franklin Park to protest. They endured the city turning on sprinklers, racist shouts and threats from neighbors. But an ensuing City Council meeting resulted in a positive outcome, and the protest was considered a victory. He served in the Navy, but also protested the Vietnam War and fought for civil rights.
Ash also ran for City Council twice, forty years apart, first in 1967 and then in 2006.
Ash is survived by his four children, six grandchildren and a great-grandson.