Wilna Joan Ashby
Wilna Joan Ashby
  • December 26, 1939 - December 13, 2017
  • Commerce City, Colorado

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Wilna Joan (Niemann) Ashby died on December 13, 2017, in Brighton, Colorado, at the age of 77.
Wilna was born on December 26, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of William and Erna Niemann. Wilna was baptized and confirmed her faith in Christ at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Chicago. Wilna graduated from Luther High School South on June 11, 1957, in Chicago. She married her high school sweetheart Michael Frederick Ashby on September 19, 1959, also at St. Mark Lutheran Church. They lived their early married life in Chicago and for many years in the suburb of Lisle, Illinois. They had five children together: Susan, Lisa, Mark, Jennifer and Matthew. They relocated to Aurora, Colorado, in the late 1970's, later building their retirement home in Commerce City, Colorado. After her children were grown, she held several secretarial positions.

Wilna loved her church, music, and travel. She enjoyed many years playing bells in her church choir, participating in the Lutheran Women's Missionary League and Glory Circle and helping with activities at church. She and Mike volunteered with the Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL, now Thrivent).

Her home was filled with craft projects, many of which she sold at craft fairs and church events. After Mike retired, she and Mike traveled with friends and the Grace Wanderers all over the U.S.-each time returning with extensive photographic evidence of their adventures. Mike and Wilna periodically worked together building balloon art for area events. Those who knew and loved Wilna will always remember her dry, albeit sometimes wicked, wit. It was all too easy to find oneself giggling with Wilna for reasons lost on virtually everyone else and trying desperately not to laugh out loud. Wilna was loyal Chicago Cubs fan and a fierce defender of the Denver Broncos. One learned quickly not to interfere with Wilna when "the boys" were playing-especially if they were losing.

Wilna was preceded in death by her parents, William and Erna; and a grandson, Justin. Wilna is survived by her husband, Michael, of Commerce City, Colorado; her daughter, Susan (Charles) Hart of Brighton, Colorado; her daughter, Lisa Ashby, of Seward, Nebraska; her son, Mark (Christie) of Thornton, Colorado; her daughter, Jennifer (Charles) Kard, of St. Petersburg, Florida; her son, Matthew (Brittany), of Cheyenne, Wyoming; seven grandchildren, Hannah Hart and Nathanael (Trisha) Hart of Brighton, Colorado, Alana Ashby and Aubrey Ashby of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Charles (Charlie) and James Kard of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Ian Ashby, of Thornton, Colorado; one great-grandchild, Emmie Hart, of Brighton, Colorado; dear friend, Renea Gernant of Louisville, Nebraska, and many beloved friends.

Memorials may be directed to: Zion Lutheran Church, 1400 Steel St. Brighton, Colorado, 80601: Bethesda Lutheran Communities of Colorado 5941 S. Middlefield Rd. Unit 100, Littleton, Colorado 80123 (BethesdaIsLove.org); or the American Cancer Society.

To share a memory of Wilna or leave a condolence for her family, please visit the guest book below.

Arrangements under the direction of Olinger Highland Mortuary & Cemetery, Thornton, CO.