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ATWOOD (February 3) — It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon for an outdoor memorial at the West Carroll Softball field for the late Ashley Barlow, who tragically died in a mobile home fire last …
ATWOOD (February 3) — It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon for an outdoor memorial at the West Carroll Softball field for the late Ashley Barlow, who tragically died in a mobile home fire last Tuesday morning, January 29. Barlow, her boyfriend Dakota Cook and Cook’s sister Caitlyn all perished in the fire.
Approximately 150 persons came together to celebrate Ashley’s life. Several local softball programs were represented including members of the Milan softball team, McKenzie softball team and Huntingdon softball team as well as a number of travel team coaches and members that knew Ashley as well as family members and community members.
Ashley’s parents, Wesley Barlow and Brenda Barlow were in attendance to speak to well-wishers. Director of Schools Dexter Williams and Jr. High/Sr. High Principal Tim Stratton were present to speak to people.
An emotional Paul Acuff, West Carroll Softball Coach, presided over the event leading off with a prayer and began eulogizing Ashley. He recalled meeting her when he came to West Carroll three years ago and wondering how she was going to be able to raise her daughter, keep her school work up and do the things Acuff wanted to do with the program. He told the audience she did all of that and more. “She was a good leader for this team and the members,” said Acuff. “She was mature for her age sometimes more mature than me.”
Several members of the Lady War Eagle softball team spoke of fond memories of how Ashley would get dirty with grass stains and dirt before a game even got started. After Acuff and team members spoke, the team walked to second base where a cross stood and had a prayer for Ashley. Following that, they walked around the bases with Barlow’s daughter, Madalyn, each holding a white balloon.
The team went back to the pitcher’s mound and waited for the public to grab balloons tied to the fence surrounding the field and lined the base paths from first to third. Team members released their balloons first and the public then let theirs go. Everyone watched the balloons get caught by the wind and float away to close the service.
Principal Stratton recalled having lunch just last week at the Old West Steakhouse in McKenzie where Ashley worked. “She was excited about her nursing career and I encouraged her to keep working hard and she would get there. She was a fighter and persevered through a lot.”
Coach Acuff responded to a question regarding how to prepare the Lady War Eagles for the season after losing a friend and former teammate. Acuff replied. “It’s my first time dealing with something like this,” said Acuff. “We will go day by day, talk when we need to, and cry when we need to. This service today was good therapy.”
Following the service, the Lady War Eagles presented Ashley’s mother with a shadow box containing Ashley’s #9 jersey.