Lafayette Business Icon and Philanthropist Doug Ashy, Sr. Passes Away at Age 91
A local businessman with a heart for helping others passed away peacefully on Valentine's Day.
One of the most prominent businessmen in Lafayette over the past 60 years, Doug Ashy, Sr. led an exemplary life. He was born in Ville Platte in 1930 and moved to Lafayette at the age of 2, according to his obituary. After graduating from Lafayette High School, Doug earned his Associate Degree from Spencer's Business College, married his wife, Claire, of 70 years, and went to work in the building materials industry.
At the age of 30, he opened his first lumberyard, Doug Ashy Lumber. In 1962, two years after opening his own business, a fire destroyed it. But, Doug's own customers, friends, and even competitors helped him rebuild what has become known today as Doug Ashy Building Materials, Inc. The company expanded from that small location to 8 locations with over 300 employees and is operated by the 3rd generation of Ashy's.
As I mentioned, Doug had a giving heart. In addition to being one of the original founders of the Acadian Home Builders Association and serving terms as President and sitting on the Board of Directors, he served as chairman for numerous organizations including United Givers Fund, Goodwill, Better Business Bureau, Lafayette Juvenile Young Adult Program, Lafayette Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC), and various others. Doug also helped organize St. Joseph Diner and St. Joseph Shelter for Men. He was also a charter member of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. Doug also served as President or Chairman of the Board of Directors of various local, state and national lumber and building material dealer associations. Several cherished awards include the recipient of the Civic Cup Award for Lafayette in 1987 and the Leadership in Philanthropy Award for Lafayette Parish in 2021. Doug supported many other charities and would seldom say no to any worthy cause.
As if all of these achievements weren't impressive enough, it's what his family and loved ones have to say about him now that he is gone that really stands out. Anyone would be proud to have this said about them in their obituary:
To all who knew him, Doug was recognized for his outstanding character. He was a very honest and humble man of great integrity. He never met a stranger and greeted everyone with a friendly smile. He was also very humorous and loved making everyone laugh by telling a good joke. He was an inspiration to his family and a mentor to many others. Doug never had an agenda and was always cheerful, helpful and caring. He lived a storied, long exuberant life worthy of celebrating. Deeply loved by so many, he will be terribly missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, February 19 from 11:00 a.m. until Noon at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Lafayette. Ashy will be buried at Calvary Cemetery in Lafayette.
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