May 3, 2024

Hazel Griffin Ashburn, 88, entered the gates of Heaven and jumped into the arms of her Jesus on Friday, May 3, 2024.  She was at her home and surrounded by her two daughters, Sandra and Angie.

Hazel was born in Hendersonville, NC on June 11, 1935 to the late Orville Henry Griffin and Mamie Baldwin Griffin, and was raised on the adjoining property to where she lived and ultimately left this world for her eternal home.

Hazel was a graduate of Edneyville High School, and Western Carolina University (WCU) where she earned her undergraduate degree in education and later her Master’s degree.  It was there that she met the love of her life, Rex, who had left NC State University and his home in King, NC for one year at WCU– a divine union was established.

Mrs. Ashburn taught 38 years in the Henderson County School System (Dana School, Flat Rock Junior High School, and Apple Valley Middle School). The week she retired she was blessed to be called to teach at Fruitland Baptist Bible College where she taught for 30 years, and until one month before her passing.  Oh, how she loved her students! She was honored in 2020 as she was humbly inducted into the Henderson County Education Hall of Fame.

She was a member and long time Sunday School teacher and volunteer youth leader at Fruitland Baptist Church, the church her great grandmother, Falby Lanning Griffin, helped to establish.  Hazel had previously been an active member, Sunday School teacher, and youth leader at Mud Creek Baptist Church.

Survivors include her two daughters, Sandra Ashburn Sitton and husband David of Fruitland, Angela Ashburn Ayers and husband Jim, and her two grandsons J. Dayton Ayers and J. Colton Ayers all of Spartanburg, SC; a sister, Marie Searcy of Sylva, NC; and many special Griffin and Ashburn nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased in death by her parents, Orville Henry and Mamie Griffin; her beloved husband of 45 years, Rex F. Ashburn; a brother, Edgar Griffin; and a sister, Lois Griffin McKinnish.

The family wishes to thank all the many relatives and friends who visited and prayed for our mother-grandmother during her brief illness.  We want to give special thanks to the Tuesday Women’s “Lunch Bunch”, Fruitland Baptist Church, Fruitland Baptist Bible College, the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System physicians, and medical team for your loving and compassionate care, and finally to Four Seasons Hospice (Courtney Fowler, RN you have the gift of kind, warm caring for patients and families in the final days.  Keep shining your light.)

As we mourn the loss of our precious mother and grandmother, we have blessed assurance in the fact that we will see her again one day in Heaven.  Life does not end, but changes, and we know that she has reached a place of everlasting peace alongside Jesus Christ and the God whom she so faithfully served.

A “sending home” service will be held at 2pm Wednesday, May 8 at Fruitland Baptist Church with Pastor Craig Stepp and Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges (niece) officiating.  Burial will follow at the neighboring family cemetery, Lanning-Pittillo Cemetery, where Pastor Chris Pace will preside. The family will receive friends 6-8pm Tuesday night at Fruitland Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to Fruitland Baptist Bible College or Fruitland Baptist Church.

The family has entrusted Jackson Funeral Service with the arrangements.