Allen Robert Ashby obituary
Alien Ashby, pioneer in black athletics, dies By BLAIR KAMIN Allen Ashby of 700 E. Fifth St, a pioneer In black athletics In Iowa, died of a heart attack Friday at Broad-Uwni Medical lI A Born in Boone, he If it -n I WM Welong resi dent of the Des Moines area. He was a member of the football, basketball and wrestling teams at East High School in the early 1920s. He attended Grin-nell College and ASHBY played football as a freshman, but had to leave school after his father died. In 1929, Ashby organized the Hilltop Tennis Tournament, a tournament for black players because "not many white tournaments wanted black players." He was director of the tournament, which was integrated in 1949. Ashby also was a sports columnist for the weekly Iowa Bystander newspaper, holding the post of sports editor from 1935 to 1985. He retired in 1971 from the Des Moines Register and Tribune where he served for 21 years as a Janitor. He wu named the first black member of the Iowa Tennis Association Hall of Fame in 1979 and was a member of the Des Moines Tennis Association, the Missouri Valley Tennis Association, the American Tennis Association and the National Junior Tennis Association. He received B'nai B'rith's Outstanding Athlete Award in 1980. He served as a counselor at the old Crocker YMCA and was the secretary for its board of directors. He also chaper oned children at YMCA camp and served on the board of directors of the Boys Club of Iowa. Survivors include two daughters, Rose Marie Ashby of Des Moines and Carol Turner of Detroit; two sons; John of Sacramento, Calif., and Allen Jr. of Idelwild, Mich.; four sisters, Mimmie Robinson, Nlnna Hawkins and Arlene Graves, all of Des Moines, and Mary Brown of Dayton, Ohio; one brother, Robert of Des Moines; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grand-. children. Services will be at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at St Paul A.M.E. Church. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Cemetery. Friends may call Sunday at Estes and Son Funeral Home, where the family will receive visitors from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday. 1 w&r .