Wilna Joan Ashby

December 26, 1939December 13, 2017

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 (; 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.


  • Memorial Service

    Friday, December 15, 2017


Wilna Joan Ashby

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carole and Chalie Kard

December 17, 2017

Wilna was a lovely Christian woman who was very proud of her family.
She will be missed but she will always be remembered by all who knew and loved her.

Karen Lovejoy

December 16, 2017

Here's the song I was listening to:

Chad Wietrick

December 15, 2017

Wishing you peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.

Judi Bewersdorf

December 14, 2017

I am so so sorry to hear of Wilna's passing. I know she is with the Lord now and will have a wonderful Christmas & birthday with Jesus. I know You all will miss her dearly. I too will miss her. She was a great lady & cousin!I remember the stories of all the balloons they made! May our good Lord comfort you all in your grief and remember the best memories always!

Karen Lovejoy

December 14, 2017

I am so sorry for your loss Lisa.
I was just playing this song when I received the news.
Peace and Blessings and Hope, Karen at King of Kings Church

Priscilla Klintworth

December 14, 2017

So very sorry to read about your Mom's death. May Jesus continue to hold you close to Him as you grieve her earthly death and look forward to the glorious reunion in Heaven. Love & hugs!

Mitch & Priscilla Klintworth

December 14, 2017

May God's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this very sad time
Psalms 29:11

Rick & Annette Kramer

December 14, 2017

Mark & Christie & Ian - So sorry for your loss. We know how much you loved her.