Donna Louise Ashton

Posted: Monday, June 30, 2008

Hoonah and Kake resident Donna Louise Ashton died June 26, 2008. She was 66.

Born June 1, 1942, in Sandpoint, Idaho, she moved to Alaska, where she met her soul mate and husband, James "Stu" Ashton, her family said. Their 44 years together were filled with love and adventure as they raised their family and moved around Alaska in Fairbanks, Hoonah and Kake.

She was a wife, mother, grandmother, mentor, friend, business owner (of Shear Success in Fairbanks), teacher, musician, artist and writer. Her family said she lived a vibrant, thoughtful and courageous life and was cherished by those who were fortunate enough to be touched by her love and friendship.

According to her family, her life passion was focused on service to others and this was reflected in all her endeavors. She was especially passionate about responding to the needs of children, they said. Over the years, many children were invited into her care, and she invited children to live in her home and become part of her family in Hoonah. She mentored many wonderful children in Kake as well, they said. Those under her care in Hoonah and Kake excelled in school and their personal lives, they said.

She received inspiration and strength to serve others from her belief in the Baha'i faith. Her family said she championed the nobility of the human race through virtues and principles of unity taught by the faith, and this was the basis of her ability to touch so many lives. She was truly a hero to those aware of her selfless sacrifice for the advancement of humanity, they said.

She is survived by her husband; children, Jim Ashton, of Anchorage, Mike Ashton, of Wrangell, Susan Ashton-Spriggs, of Fairbanks, Vinita Ashton-Norman, of Wasilla, and Brian Ashton, of Wrangell; brother, Stan Schnell, of Wrangell; sister, Gloria Taylor, of Tucson, Ariz.; and 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Her family said she will be dearly missed and never forgotten.

"We all look forward to the day we will see her again and bid her God speed on her new adventure," they said.

Services will be held at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 30, at the Wasilla Aurora Cemetery. Valley Funeral Homes & Crematory, of Wasilla and Palmer, is assisting the family.

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