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James F. Ashenden, Jr. 1925-2017

James F. Ashenden, Jr.James F. Ashenden, Jr., a 3rd generation Chicagoan, age 92, died surrounded by loving family on March 18, 2017. Beloved husband of Phyllis Ashenden for 11 years and the late Mary Jane “Janie” Ashenden for 55 years, who died in 2004. Loving father of Tom (Beverly), John (Maureen), Bob (the late Georjann), Bill (Beverly), Dan (Mary), and the late James Ashenden, III. Proud grandfather of Katie, Sean, Dana (Tyler Smith), Catherine (Joe) Bozikovich, Helen (Evan) Gremillion and Patricia, Daniel Burke and Emily Jane; and great grandfather of Riley Ann. Devoted brother of the late Dorothy (the late Robert) Brice.

Jim graduated from Loyola Academy and attended Notre Dame University while in the U.S. Navy Air Corps program during World War II. He received his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor degree from Loyola University. Jim was a World War II Navy pilot. He then started his legal career at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office. He went into private practice at O’Keefe, O’Brien & Hanson as an associate and eventually became a partner with the firm, then renamed O’Keefe, Ashenden, Lyons & Ward. As a devout Catholic, he was retained by the Daughters of Charity. He proudly represented them throughout most of his career. Jim was highly respected and went on to become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Jim retired from O’Keefe, Ashenden, Lyons & Ward when he was 70 years old. 

Jim served as Western Golf Association (WGA) chairman in 1990 and 1991. During his term, he helped lead the Western Golf Association through the transition to a new home for the Western Open championship at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, IL. He also oversaw the completion of a new Scholarship House at Purdue University in 1990. 

A WGA director since 1980, he served as general counsel from 1982 through 1989. He also served as chairman of the association’s first Development Committee, which evolved into the Endowment Committee. As co-chairman of Endowment Committee in the late 1980s, he assisted in founding the Roland F. McGuigan Endowment Fund. Established to preserve the long-term financial security of the Evans Scholars Program, the fund has since grown to $45 million. 

He has served on the Board of Governors and as a life trustee of The Evans Scholars Foundation, which is devoted to providing educational scholarships to caddies who excel academically, but could otherwise not afford college. He also served as the president of Skokie Country Club. 

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Sara Anderson
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