Nolan R. “Coach” Ashmore

Funeral Services for Nolan R. “Coach” Ashmore, age 92 of Bonham, were held Saturday, June 9, 2018 at First Baptist Church in Bonham, under the direction of Wise Funeral Home. Rev. John Brown officiated. Interment followed at Willow Wild Cemetery in Bonham. Coach passed away June 6, 2018 at the Clyde Cosper Texas State Veteran’s Home in Bonham. He was born March 29, 1926 in Fort Worth, to James Walter Ashmore and Mary Elizabeth Mathis Ashmore. Coach graduated from Paris High School at the age of 16 and attended Paris Junior College before enlisting in the Navy. He served at the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean conflict. He was the Quartermaster on the USS Ogelthorpe and on a Yard Mine Sweeper in the Bay of Japan. He married Mary Conner Speairs on April 6, 1950. He and Mary moved to Aransas Pass in 1951 where he taught chemistry, physics, algebra, and trigonometry at Aransas Pass High School. That is where he also became a coach and met his lifelong teaching and coaching friends, M.B. Nelson and Jack McElhanon. When Nelson left Aransas Pass and moved to Bonham, he asked McElhanon and Ashmore to follow him. They did, and the rest is Purple Warrior history. Nolan Ashmore was a man of dry wit and rare wisdom. He was considered by his coaching peers to be a genius at designing football defense. As a coach from Paris once said, “Trying to run against his defense was like trying to catch minnows in a bucket.” He enjoyed coaching all sports, including basketball and baseball. He thought he was “too skinny” to play football in high school, but he was the tennis doubles champion for several years at PJC. He had a brilliant scientific and mathematical mind and liked to watch students discover the mysteries of chemistry and physics. He was a fearless principal and leader. He loved teaching, and he loved “kids.” Having had dyslexia his whole life, he knew what it was like for the student who was struggling, academically and socially. His personal experiences were at the heart of his unique style of mentoring. He knew who needed a good word, and he never missed an opportunity to share one. Coach Ashmore was a great fisherman, a marvelous storyteller, an ace domino and poker player and a late-in-life pilot, who got his license at age 74. He was an animal lover and was the quintessential “cat guy.” He never missed his grandkids’ ball games, swim meets, band concerts or other important milestones. He was the patriarch of a huge extended family who adored him. He took time for each and every one of us and would greet each new member of the family with his delight by saying, “Well, this one is a dandy!” He was also a devout Christian who was at peace with this life and the next. He considered himself an incredibly lucky man who was blessed beyond measure. Nolan Ashmore was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Mary; and a granddaughter Madeleine Brashier. He is survived by his children Lou Ashmore, Margaret Ashmore, and Jim Ashmore and his wife Karen; his grandchildren Hannah Brashier and Jesse Brashier and wife Amee, Aaron Ashmore and wife Kristina, and Ainsley Lawrence and husband Chase; and his great grandchildren Madeleine Joplin, Miles Pfeiffenberger, Dalton and Bryce Lawrence, and Reed Ashmore and his soon-to-arrive sister Emery Ashmore. He is also survived by his brothers J.W. Ashmore and Jack Ashmore and wife Ruth, his sister-in-law Catherine Taylor Webb, and three generations of nieces and nephews. The family received friends Friday, June 8, 2018 at Wise Funeral Home Chapel. It was his wish to be remembered with donations to or support of these animal welfare organizations: Ranch Hand Rescue http://ranchhandrescue. org/ or the Lamar County Humane Association www.lamarcountyhumaneassociation. org or any one of your choice. An online guestbook is available at


Aransas Pass Progress

346 S. Houston

Aransas Pass, TX 78336

P.O. Box 2100

Aransas Pass, TX 78336