“Seashells remind us that every passing life leaves something beautiful behind”—anon.
The Faculty of Education is saddened to announce the sudden passing of one of its own. On October 18, undergrad Ashley Johnson passed away after a brief illness. Ashley’s funeral will be held on October 23, and on that day, the flags across the campus of the University of Calgary will fly at half-staff to honour her memory.
Ashley leaves behind to mourn her many classmates, teachers and friends, who are eager to share in their memories of her. If you would like to send a message to Ashley’s family, please visit www.piersons.ca/obituaries. If you wish to contribute to the memorial section of this page, please send your messages and memories, as well as photos to email@example.com
Ashley was a beautiful and wonderful soul. Her always smiling face, lit up the halls and classrooms where ever she was - not only here on campus, but where ever she was. Her love and passion for music was her gift to all of us - not only was her voice the sound of an angel; her amazing talent to compose music and play the piano, flawlessly, will be forever missed. She had a strong desire to teach others, and she was so excited and thrilled to become a teacher. Ashley always made time to volunteer her time, and she was an active member in her church. Ashley you will always be remembered by me and all of those you have touched in your life, and you will always have a place in all of our hearts.
ESA President, 2012-2013
An old song by Roberto Carlos
Translated by Heans Keeler
In memory of Ashley Johnson
You were my soul mate, really my great friend.
You were with me in every day, in every journey.
Although you grown a lot,
You still had the soul of a child.
Who gave me the friendship, respect and affection that I needed.
I remember we had a really hard time.
But you did not change no matter how strong the winds were.
Your heart was always an open house.
You were really the truest in uncertain hours.
In difficult moments there are in the life.
We seek who can help us to go out.
And that word of strength and faith you have given me,
Told me that you were always by my side.
You were my soul mate in every day.
Smiles and hugs in each meeting.
You told me with open phrases the great truths.
You were really the truest in uncertain hours.
I should not say all that I say.
But it's good to feel that you were my friend.
I should not say all that I say.
But it's good to feel that you were my great friend.
I am one of Ashley's fellow students in the first year of the education program at the U of C. Even though I had not yet had the opportunity to meet Ashley, it saddens me to hear of the loss of this potential friend and colleague. I would like to extend my condolences to Ashley's family and friends in their time of grief. My sympathies for your loss.
Travis D. Wardell
I didn’t really know Ashley, but she showed a clip of a piano piece that she had written and performed in one of my classes last year. It was one of the only times, if not THE only time where I’ve had the pleasure of hearing something truly beautiful, and for that she’ll always have my gratitude.
The world could use more Ashley Johnsons.
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Ashley, but seeing the tears and emotions that followed her passing touched my heart. By listening to the stories and seeing the photos from her life, I can only imagine how caring and incredible Ashley was. Mignon McLaughlin, once said that "the death of someone we know always reminds us that we are still alive - perhaps for some purpose which we ought to re-examine." I think we can take Ashley's passion and joy for teaching and pay tribute to her in every lesson that we teach.
I met Ashley this year in one of my classes as we sat next to each other every Wednesday morning. She was very excited about a project we were working on as she was going to incorporate music. Our group is finishing this project in loving memory of Ashley Johnson. I will never forget her smile.
Nada Berro Akil
I was a fellow peer of Ashley Johnson's in the education program and although I did not know her well, the times I spoke with her she was so friendly and positive. Ashley was a soft-spoken, gentle soul and I was very saddened to hear the news of her passing. My thoughts go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.
My deepest sympathies,
I am in Ashely's specialization class which includes drama and music. We are a small class of only 12 or so, and we meet in a room on the 2nd floor of Craigie Hall. Ashley led our daily warm-up two weeks ago. She went over to the piano, and got us all singing together. It was an absolute highlight of my day, and perhaps of the semester. Ashley was a beautiful singer and a gifted leader on the piano. I was so grateful in that moment to spend even a small portion of my day singing. Thanks Ashley for encouraging us to sing. You made that moment so very beautiful. We will miss you so much! We are blessed to have known you, and to have sung with you.
Alert, aware, ready to make our world better....thoughts about Ashley. Her writing in class indicated a willingness to understand all "sides" of cultural issues, and an ability to re-think previous ideas. Humble in her words, she clearly was engaged in every moment of her courses, and looking forward to be a teacher...she would have been a superior teacher. I know, through her relationships with others in her classes, her spirit and desire to teach will continue with them.
Shirley R. Steinberg
Professor of Education
I did not have the pleasure of knowing Ashley personally however her life and recent passing has definitely touched my heart. She sounds like a beautiful soul and I have heard she had the voice of an angel. My deepest condolences go out to everyone whose life Ashley touched, and I believe you are all better people because of her presence in your lives.
I met Ashley last year in the first year of our program. Despite the stress and apprehension shared by many first years in our faculty, Ashley was always ready with a kind attitude and a constant smile. Unfortunately, due to our differences in specialization and schedule, we were unable to become more than acquaintances. However, hearing stories from all the people that she has touched, I know that she remained a happy and optimistic student, friend and family member throughout the year. I wish I had a chance to get to know her better. My thoughts will be with Ashley's family and friends in the coming months.
ESA V.P. Activities
The passing of a friend always reminds us of how important and relevant people in our lives are. Ashley has helped us come together as a community and to appreciate the beauty around us. We are all lucky to have so many friends to remind us how blessed we are in our lives. Although I never had the pleasure of getting to know Ashley closer, I know what it means to be a supportive friend to those who are grieving. Seeing how much she has touched the people in this school really shows how many lives she has touched and how important she was to those around me. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family.
“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” - Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena
VP Professional Development
Whenever we experience a loss such as this it reminds us to focus on the good in our lives. Ashley was one of those people who always seemed focused on the good. She was always happy and smiling and seemed incapable of having a bad day. The passing of a friend and colleague who was as friendly and kind as Ashley really makes us all aware of how fleeting life is. It is a constant reminder that we need to live every moment to its fullest which is something I truly believe Ashley did. It has been a struggle for those in the program who knew her well and my thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family in their time of need.
“Remembering is an act of resurrection, each repetition a vital layer of mourning, in memory of those we are sure to meet again.”
Nancy Cobb Nicole Tiberio
I never had the opportunity to meet Ashley. As first year education students we were all just starting to get to know each other and getting excited about our first practicum experience in schools. Practicum started this week, and I'm deeply saddened to think that she will never get to share this wonderful experience with us that we had been looking forward to for so long. I feel sorry for the future students that never got to meet her, it sounds like she would have been a wonderful role model for them. My deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends at this difficult time.
To the Johnson Family,
My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. I was a classmate of Ashley Johnson in the Education Program. Ashley will be missed by her beautiful smile and her love and passion towards teaching. Without a doubt she has had a positive impact on the lives of many people.
VP Finance of Education Students’ Association
I did not know Ashley, but she was in a couple of my classes at U.of C. What I do remember about her, is that one day I looked up and spotted her from where I was sitting in class, and said to myself "She is truly a good person!" Don't ask me how I knew that. I was right, and I have no idea what made me know this. It was nothing that she did, or said in class. It was just something that I knew from my heart! God Bless her. Let her rejoice in heaven.
I remember Ashley being one of the first people I met in the bachelor of education program. We sat beside each other on the first day and she acknowledged me with a smile. Although we only exchanged a few words over the course of the semester, she struck me as a very smart, kind, intelligent, warm hearted person. My thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.
Although I did not have the pleasure of getting to know Ashley, I was greatly saddened by the news of her passing. She has touched so many lives with her warm and beautiful spirit and her incredible talent. Ashley will be greatly missed but always remembered.
Ashley's spirit will be remembered for years to come by the students in her program whether or not those students were close with Ashley. As one of those peers I will remember her glowing smile, the shine in her eyes, her dedication and her love for her families (family,peers,church community,etc).
In respect to Ashley's religious spirit,this verse reminds me of the life Ashley pursued and the character she exhibited...
"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:5, 6 NKJV)
I will miss Ashley dearly in our program.My thoughts and prayers goes out to Ashley's friends and family.
VP Executive, Education Students' Association,
Education Faculty Representative, Students' Union