July 1, 1955 – September 30, 2018
On September 30, 2018, an Angel who walked among us ascended to heaven, when Ashleyann Carlson passed away. She was born Ann Hillenbrand on July 1, 1955 to Robert and Elizabeth (Jacobson) Hillenbrand and was raised in Naperville, Illinois. She graduated from Naperville Central High School in 1973 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire in 1976. Ashleyann’s angelic beauty was only surpassed by her compassion for animals, kindness to people, and love for life. While still in high school, she started competitive horseback riding and rode Show Hunters for over 16 years, claiming 7 New England Champion titles, numerous New Hampshire State titles, several Horse of the Year awards, as well as hundreds of 1st and championship event placings, all while riding her beloved horses: Pegasus, Bear-in-the-Air, and Happiness. After leaving riding in 1987, she joined Continental Airlines and relocated to Houston, Texas. In 1992 while on a layover in San Diego, seeking to move there, she met her future husband Ted Carlson. Ashleyann and Ted were married on August 7, 1995, and she was a loyal and supportive Navy wife for over 23 years. After 10 years of flying, Ashleyann retired and turned her energy to her true passions of caring for animals and figure skating. During her lifetime, she volunteered countless hours to animal shelters in San Diego, Colorado Springs, and Norfolk, always filling her home with the unwanted dogs and cats from shelters: the old, the sick, and those with special needs. Ashleyann was a generous supporter of the National Mill Dog Rescue, Mercy for Animals, and the Humane Society International, and in 2017, she established the Phoebe Fund for Spay/Neuter of Norfolk SPCA Shelter Animals. During her figure skating career, she was a 5-time Gold Medalist and 2-time Silver Medalist in Ice Dance at the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. She trained at the Sertich Ice Rink in Colorado Springs, and was a member of the 7k Centennial Skating Club. Off ice, she was instrumental in getting solo ice dance events added to the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. Ashleyann is survived by her loving and devoted husband Commander Ted Carlson, her cherished sister Beth (Hillenbrand) Jones, her blind Maltese Fancy-Pants, and her paraplegic Boxer-mix Higgins; and they will miss her immensely. She will also be greatly missed by her skating family, her animal rescue family, her Continental Airlines family, and her wonderful California, Colorado and Virginia friends. Please join the family for a celebration of Ashleyann’s life on Saturday, October 20th at 2:00 PM at First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Mill Dog Rescue, Mercy for Animals, or the Humane Society International.
- Celebration of Life Service Saturday, October 20, 2018
October 20, 2018
Ashleyann was a dear friend, and I always enjoyed our time together at the ice rink. She was a lovely lady as well as an elegant skater. Most of all, Ashleyann was kind to everyone. She was a gentle soul and a blessing to all who knew her. I will truly miss Ashleyann’s warmth and friendship.
October 10, 2018
We are without a truly loving and selfless person today.
October 8, 2018
Ted, Ashleyann was one of the best ladies I’ve known, both inside and out. She has left her fond memories for all to cherish throughout our lives. Ashleyann will always have a space in your heart and some precious moments to hide! May her memories and love comfort you in the best possible way so that you stay strong have courage to go on and rise. Please accept my symphathies and condolences! Fondly Ana Garrigues
October 7, 2018
A wonderful lady, always kind to others. Her skating was a blessing to all who were able to see. I miss her and know many others miss her and my tears are in memory of a classy lady. She is gone way too soon. The many animals she loved have lost a wonderful, kind friend.