Louise Ashley Obituary

Mary “Louise” Ashley-Strohmier, 84, of Oak Harbor, Washington died at her home on Saturday, 6 August 2005.

Born in Patton, Pennsylvania on 9 July 1921 to Charles Strohmier and Edith McConnell,  Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier was raised in western Pennsylvania and went to Lock Haven State College.  In 1941 she attended flight school and completed her first solo flight.  Nine days before the US entered World War II, she married Lynn Casteel Ashley.  During the war she worked for the US Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC as an aerial photography analyst.

After the war the couple moved to the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay to raise their family.  As the children got older, Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier became involved in various forms of art including: painting, ceramics, quilting and other textiles.  During this period, she worked for the Prince George’s County, Maryland, Board of Education and later was the local postmaster.

In the late 1960’s, Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier and her family moved back to Pennsylvania where she taught ceramics and began porcelain painting.   As the older children moved out on their own, in the mid-1970’s the remaining family moved to the Florida Keys where Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier opened a successful gift shop in which to sell her artwork.  She was an active member of the Florida State Association of Porcelain Artist.  In 1986, she closed the shop and moved with her husband to be near some of her children in north central Florida, where she continued painting and quilting, and began her research in the family’s genealogy.

In 2004, declining health caused Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier to move to Oak Harbor, Washington where she was cared for by her oldest daughter, Marita L. Ashley, and Marita’s partner, Veda L. Bullock.

Immediate survivors include her six children: Lynn C. Ashley, Jr. of Arlington, Virginia; Gregory L. Ashley of Waldo, Florida; Christopher L. Ashley of the Bahamas; Jeffery M. Ashley of Key Largo, Florida; Marita L. Ashley of Oak Harbor, Washington and Lora A. Ashley of Kodiak, Alaska;  two of six siblings: Bernard C. Strohmier of Loretto, Pennsylvania and Dolores H. Rooney of Centreville, Virginia;  nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Mrs. Ashley-Strohmier’s name to the Home Health Care & Hospice of Whidbey General Hospital, 101 North Main Street, Coupeville, WA 98239.  A graveside burial service was held on at 10:00am, Wednesday, 10 August 2005 at Maple Leaf Cemetery, Oak Harbor, Washington.