Cover photo for Nancy "Colleen" Ashley's Obituary
Nancy "Colleen" Ashley Profile Photo
1935 Nancy 2023

Nancy "Colleen" Ashley

October 8, 1935 — January 31, 2023

Nancy "Colleen" Ashley, age 87, of Kalamazoo passed away peacefully with her daughter Karen holding her hand on Tuesday morning, January 31, 2023. She was born in Tucson, Arizona on October 8, 1935, the daughter of Henry Burr and Hazel Vivian (Mifflin) Downes. Colleen's parents divorced when she was 3 years old. Her father then married her step-mother, Elsie Downes. Colleen lived in Los Angeles & Burbank, California then to Grants Pass, Oregon where she attended High School. She then moved to Michigan in 1952 when she got married and has lived most of her adult life in Richland, but has also lived in Parchment and Kalamazoo. Colleen worked at the Parkview Inn in Richland and then worked for Dr. Duane Smith D.D.S. in Richland for more than 30 years.

Colleen married Joseph "Pete" Ashley in Grants Pass, Oregon on February 24, 1952; they divorced in 1984. She is survived by her daughters, Karen (David) Hite of Kalamazoo and Becca (Don) Wiles of South Carolina; her grandchildren, Kevin (Kate) Randall of Hudsonville, Kyle Randall of Tennessee, Ashley (Gerad) Malone of Tennessee and Adam (Ashley) Hite of Mattawan; her great-grandchildren, Cooper & Zoe Randall, Genevieve & Evan Malone, Adeline Hite and Noah Strode; and her extended family, nieces, nephews, sisters & brothers-in-law, and her ex-husband. Colleen was preceded in death by her parents, Henry & Elsie Downes and Hazel Mifflin Green; her son, Larry Joe Ashley; grandson, Michael Christopher Ashley; and brother, Larry Burnell Downes.

Colleen's favorite hobby was tending to her flower gardens, but she also enjoyed ceramics and porcelain dolls. She always had pets, but especially loved her dogs.

At Colleen's request, cremation has taken place and a private family memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude's, the Rose Arbor Hospice Residence, or the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation, Richland.


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