Pubdate: Sun, 11 Jan 2015
Source: News-Herald, The (Southgate, MI)
Copyright: 2015 Heritage Newspapers
Author: Jim Kasuba, The News-Herald


Penny Ashley knew her son had a heroin addiction problem and did
everything in her power to get help for him, but it still proved to be
not enough.

She along with other family members and friends are grieving the loss
of Jacob Charles Ashley of Southgate, who died Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015,
at the age of 21.

Born in St. Marys, Ohio, on Oct. 26, 1993, he moved to Wyandotte in
2004. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and then went on to
Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn where he participated in Ford
Automotive Student Service Educational Training. The ASSET program is
a 24-month, six-semester associate's degree training program that
provides students with skills to succeed in the automotive industry.
He graduated from the program and was working in the body shop at
Southgate Ford.

Penny Ashley, who described her son as "outgoing and charming," said
he had plans of continuing his education, but drug abuse put a quick
end to his dreams.

She said she was devastated upon finding him unconscious Sunday
afternoon in his Southgate apartment.

"It's an epidemic," she said of heroin addiction. "One time and you're

Ashley said she found out about Jacob's addiction in November after he
wrecked his car in Wyandotte while under the influence of heroin. He
spent three days in jail after that incident, which proved to be a
wake-up call.

He was placed in a hospital and given what his mother referred to as a
"concoction of prescriptions" to treat his addiction.

"There is no good support," Ashley said. "He was on a waiting list of
hundreds of people to see a therapist, and I had good insurance. There
are so few groups you can talk this stuff out."

Through her son's addiction, Ashley became aware of what she said is a
problem with young people selling prescription drugs.

"They fake symptoms to get drugs they want from urgent care," she
said, adding that in some cases physicians may not know what
prescriptions a drug-addicted patient has been given by other doctors.

"It's enabling these kids to work this poor system we have," she

In addition to his mother and stepfather, Don Hubbard, who reside in
Wyandotte; Jacob is survived by his father, Thomas Ashley of Richmond,
Ind.; his sister, Lorynn Riley of London, England; and brother Tyler
Ashley; as well as grandparents Thomas and Shirley Ashley.

Also surviving are his aunts and uncles Garrett Kitchen of Saint
Marys, Ohio; Leslie Kitchen of Saint Marys; Lynn Lightle of
Wapakoneta, Ohio; Theresa Risner and O'Rina Ashley.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Charles and
Colista Kitchen.

"Jake," as he was known to friends and family, enjoyed drawing,
hunting and fishing, playing cards and video games, and spending time
with his family.

His life will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 9, 2015, at
the Miller-Long & Folk Funeral Home, 314 West High Street, St.Marys,
Ohio. Visitation took place on Thursday.

Friends and family in Michigan are invited to attend visitation from 4
to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, at Czopek Funeral Directors, 2157
Oak St., Wyandotte.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Ashley said she is telling her son's story in the hopes that those
with an addiction problem can learn from it, so that other young
people don't go down the same road that led to her son's death.

"They are not themselves (after becoming addicted,)" she said. "They
are unable to bring themselves back. It's very horrible. These kids
are making poor decisions."
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