Charles “Chuck” Ash

Published 5:38 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Charles “Chuck” Ash, 50, of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, passed unexpectedly on December 1st, 2021. Charles was born on March 12th, 1971, in Bluefield, West Virginia to Robert and Judy Ash, and older sisters Janice and Jill. He attended Lees McCrae College and the University of South Carolina Hilton Head.

Ardent, world travelling, and loving, Charles was a passionate father, videographer and photographer, firefighter for the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department, world traveler, and avid kiteboarder. Everything for Charles led back to the water with his kite. As much as he loved the water, the mountains were also a special place for Charles. He grew up on Beech Mountain, NC and had many skiing adventures in the Appalachian Mountains as well as across the globe.

More than anything, Charles loved his children Stephanie and Griffin.

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Charles co-produced a top-selling kiteboarding instructional video, “The Way to Fly,” that is still being sold today. He also created numerous brand and product promotional videos for many kite companies throughout his career and travelled the world doing so. He had a knack for directing a scene that made it all seem so easy for his subjects. His photography skills were legendary, and his images have graced the pages of more than a few publications and magazines.

Charles was a dedicated member of the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department. He previously served as a volunteer firefighter from January 2012 and rejoined as a support member on October 6th, 2020. Charles was selected by his fellow firefighters as “Rookie of the Year” in 2020, which was an incredible honor to him. He was the fire department’s resident photographer and licensed drone operator. Charles got his FAA UAS Commercial Drone Pilot’s certification on November 3rd, 2020.

Charles was preceded in death by his father, Robert “Bob” Ash, maternal grandparents, Tony and Helen Leeber, and paternal grandparents, Herbert and Charlotte Ash.

Charles is survived by his daughter and son, Stephanie Naegle and her husband Bradley of Kingsport, TN, and Griffin Ash and his mother Kendra Ash of Southern Shores, NC; his mother, Judy Ash; his sisters Janice Welsh, Jill Ash and her husband James Girolamo; nephews and nieces, Nicholas, Katherine, Michael, Elizabeth, and A.J.; cousins Jason Leeber and Shannon Leeber; girlfriend, Emilie Macdonald; longtime friends, Jon Gates and Dimitri Maramenides; The Elder Family of Beech Mountain, NC, and other countless close friends.

A gathering and sunset memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Harvey Soundside Park Pavilion in Nags Head, NC.

A special memorial with the kiteboarding community in celebration of his life will be held in 2022, pending details. Please visit Gallop Funeral Service’s website for memorial service details.

In lieu of flowers, an education fund is being created for Griffin Ash and donation details will be made available.

A special Thank You to the Kill Devil Hills Fire Department, which was a special community for Charles. Please express condolences to the family via the online register at Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.