You can't help but smile when you think of Ashley Johnson. Ashley was always walking two feet off the ground- doing her own thing, dressed to perfection with her flowing red hair and that infectious smile on her face. She adored her son, her family, her friends and her students with a passion unsurpassed. Ashley was meticulous about how she lived her own life but she was accepting of all of us and our idiosyncrasies. She was intolerant to intolerance... and also a messy kitchen countertop. Ashley was always Ashley - never wavering. She passed away peacefully on January 5, 2013 with a smile on her face. Cervical cancer was the thing that ever beat her after 42 years. She left our party too soon, fighting her way out the door. The brightest lights often burn out before for their time. Ashley left the following at her party: Her son Quinn, a freshman at Florence High School, her parents Jeanne and Tom Ledbetter of Canon City and Leonard and Dianna Johnson of Memphis TN. She was a treasured sister to Mindy Minor and husband Gary of Canon City and Matt Johnson and wife Wendy of Houston. She was a cherished aunt to her nephews Connor Johnson and Harrison, Aaron and Paul Minor. She was a blessing and light to her partner Mike Fairbanks of Canon City and his parents Lana and Mike Fairbanks from Pueblo. Her Grammy, Marie O'Leary, will miss her just always being sweet Ashley. The richness of her friendship will be held by her best friend, Meredith Philipp-Tcholakian of Houston, her Uncle Jim Stewart and his family and Aunt Lois Withrow and her family, her book club (Ashley's Angels,) Zonta, Fremont School District, and Elite Fitness. The family extends special thank you to Dr. Mike and Sheila Banker; Della and Dr. Erik Rieger; Dr. Dirk Pikaart, Cara Miller, NP and their amazing staff; The Eleventh Floor nursing staff at Penrose Hospital; Orchard of Hope Foundation; out-patient staff and volunteers of St. Thomas More Hospital and the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center Infusion Team. Special recognition is also deserving for the chief Ashley's Angel, Janet Bergin. Ashley worked as a 4th grade teacher at Fremont Elementary School in Florence for many years. Her gift for teaching and love for children shaped the lives of so many. In lieu of flowers a trust has been set up at Canon National Bank for her son Quinn Johnson. Remembrances can also be made in her honor to Orchard of Hope Foundation (111 North Orchard Avenue, Canon City CO 81212- www.orchard of hope.org.) Ashley was a supporter of Orchard of Hope Foundation prior to her diagnosis and served as Zonta's Orchard of Hope Walk Chairman. She received assistance from them in her own time of need. The life and love we shared with Ashley is timeless. It was a rare and profound honor to have her in our lives and she will always be our Valentine. A celebration of Ashley's life will be announced at a later date. Arrangements handled through Holt Family Funeral Home. Online condolences @ www.holtfamilyfuneralhomes.com
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Published in The Canon City Daily Record on Jan. 8, 2013