Ann Ashley, 50, died July 31, 2009, at her home in Topeka, Kansas. She had breast cancer for ten years.
Ann Louise Nicholas was a friendly, small-town girl raised in Marshall, MO. Her father, Russell Nicholas, lives in Marshall, and her mother, Louise, passed away last winter.
The youngest of six, Ann will be missed by sister Carol Miller and her husband, Gary, of Columbia, MO, and brothers Rusty (and Bobbi), Cary, NC, John (and Debbie), Chantilly, VA, Tom (and Becky) and James, of Springfield, MO, and all of their children.
Ann's interest in dance started at Marshall High School where she was on the cheerleader and dance squads. She continued to dance at William Woods College in Fulton, MO, and joined a modern dance troupe while she was studying for her Master's Degree at KU. She was a traveling teacher for deaf children in the Kansas City, KS, Schools.
Ann married Tom Ashley, also studying at KU, in 1983. They lived in Portland, OR, and Philadelphia where son Scott was born. They moved to Topeka where Tom joined his father and grandfather in ophthalmology practice.
Clayton, Haven, William, Byron and Isabel followed, each a unique blessing and adored by their wonderful mother. Each has received a treasured part of her that will shine all of their lives.
Ann will also be missed by brother-in-law James Ashley and Serey, of Coto de Caza, CA, and her mother-in-law, Carol Ashley, of Topeka.
Ann was percussionist at Trinity Presbyterian Church and active at Whitson School. She had a life long interest in fitness and education and taught yoga, dance and exercise classes for Washburn University, the City of Topeka, and at private studios. With her daughters, she danced and assisted at Center Stage Dance World, performing in their annual recital in June.
Ann was not defeated by her diagnosis, but lived the rest of her time fully, developing new interests in karate, rollerblading, choreography and playing drums. She bravely met numerous challenges and cheerfully dedicated herself to her students, her family and God. She is greatly missed.
The family will receive friends at Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2009, with a memorial service on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Private family inurnment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4746 SW 21st St., Topeka, KS 66604 or to Midland Care Hospice Services, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606 or The Nature Conservancy, 700 SW Jackson St., Topeka, KS 66603.
To leave a special message for the family online, visit www.PenwellGabelTopeka.com.
Additional information provided per family recompense.