Cover photo for Ashel Ephrum "A.E" Ammons, Jr.'s Obituary
Ashel Ephrum "A.E" Ammons, Jr. Profile Photo

Ashel Ephrum "A.E" Ammons, Jr.

January 13, 1935 — April 20, 2024


Ashel Ephrum "A.E" Ammons, Jr.

Ashel Ephrum Ammons, Jr. (A.E.) aged 89 passed away April 20th. He was the youngest son of Ashel E. & Effie Hicks Ammons, born on January 13th, 1935, in Sutherlin VA.  


Growing up depression poor in Stokes County, NC, he began working as a shoeshine boy at the age of 6. He attended Walnut Cove High School and was the first Boy Scout in Stokes County to ever achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Graduating high school in 1953, he attended Guilford College on a football scholarship and earned a degree in History in 1957. He married his High School sweetheart, Anne, in 1959 and was drafted into the US Army from 1960-1963. He served in the 18th Airborne Corps and the 2nd Infantry Division deploying to Cuba during the Bay of Pigs. In late 1963 he became a Wildlife Enforcement Officer with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. His first assignment was the Turkey Pen Gap area of Mills River in Henderson & Transylvania counties. One year later he would be assigned as the Refuge Manager of the Harmon Den Wildlife Refuge in Haywood & Madison counties. In 1972 with the reshaping of the Wildlife Commission he transitioned from Enforcement Officer to Wildlife Management Biologist. He was instrumental in the establishment of Black Bear sanctuaries, the study of Black Bear hibernation, the Wild Turkey restoration program, the Golden Eagle restoration program, the study of Chronic Wasting Disease, and strengthening the White Tail Deer population with managed either sex hunting seasons, and much more. He retired in 1998 as the Supervising Wildlife Biologist for the Western Region of NC. Among his many awards he was inducted into "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine'' by Governor James B Hunt, one of North Carolina's most prestigious honors. He was a passionate conservationist, outdoorsman, hunter, firearms enthusiast, and constitutionalist his entire life.


He had a lifelong passion for history, especially the Civil War and the American West. No family trip was complete, and there were many, without visits to battlefields, museums, parks, and historic sites. He took great joy in taking his grandchildren on nationwide RV trips introducing them to the grandeur of America, only returning when they had to get back to attend school. He and Anne loved traveling in their retirement years and spent months at a time as members of the Wally Byam AirStream Club traveling throughout the USA. From Alaska's Arctic Circle to the tip of Baja, MX. Many miles and memories, always in the spirit of teaching our younger generations to respect and protect our natural resources, and those who inhabit the world around us. He was a true patriarch and quintessential gentleman who held his family above all else. 


He is predeceased by his cherished wife of 64 years, Anne Fowler Ammons, who passed away March 31st, 2023, his parents Ashel & Effie Ammons and siblings Lonnie May Ammons, Nellie A. Adkins, and Shellie L. Ammons. 


Left with this legacy are; daughter Anne Elizabeth & husband Wynn Myers, son Ashel M. Ammons & partner Natalia, special nephew Kim O. Adkins, and former daughter-in-law Shannon M. Valentine. Grandchildren; Paige Ammons Rice & husband Alan, Ashel M. Ammons, Jr. & partner Savannah, Christian V. Ammons & wife Karly, Lauren V. Ammons & partner Wil, Ashel E. Myers & partner Tammy. Great grandchildren; Hunter & Hudson Rice, Knox & Noah Ammons. Lifelong friends Jerry & Esther Hightower and close friend David Boone. Many nieces and nephews from both sides of the family, as close as his own children. 


The family plans to hold a Memorial Service later this summer. 

Please refer to the website for updates. 


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at

1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
The Wildlife Society at

25 Century Blvd, Suite 505

Nashville, TN 37214

 The Family wishes to thank Maggie Valley Nursing & Rehabilitation and Four Seasons Palliative & Hospice Care for their treatment, care and support during these past months.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ashel Ephrum "A.E" Ammons, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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