Laurie Ashley passed away early in the morning of November 13, 2019, due to complications of COPD. She leaves behind her wife, Pat Terrell, of Wofford Heights, sister and brother-in-law, Liz and Wayne Schoon, of Manson, IA, nieces Laurie Tague (Kevin) and Vicki Bilek, also of Manson, IA, nephew, Rick Schoon (Stephanie), of Norco, six great-nieces, four great-nephews and numerous friends around the Kern River Valley.
Laurie was a native Californian, born in Torrance. She grew up in Southern California and received her B.S. and Teaching Credential from Cal State L.A. Laurie worked for Chaffey Joint Union High School District for over 35 years, retiring in 2003. During her career, she was a Mentor Teacher many times and much beloved by her students, many of whom stayed in contact with her via social media and by phone.
Upon her retirement, Laurie was invited to the KRV by colleagues who had retired to the area. It was love at first sight. She called Pat and said, “We have to buy a house here!”, and so they did. She would proudly exclaim to all who visited, “This place is paradise!” Her enthusiasm was contagious.
Laurie became an Elk in 2005 and supported the Kern River Valley Elks Lodge both financially and through her volunteer work. She was honored as “Elk of the Year” in 2010. The main reason for her joining was because of the Elks’s dedication to youth scholarships. She was not only involved in the Lodge Scholarship program, but she established Education Accounts for all her great-nieces and nephews to help with their continuing education.
Laurie belonged to the Ladies of the Elks as well. She served as the L.O.E. Secretary for many, many years. Laurie was selected as “Lady of the Year” in 2009-an honor similar to “Elk of the Year.”
Laurie was an animal lover. At one point in time, she owned a horse that she dearly loved and she rode for many years. She supported the Humane Society and the Marine Mammal Center, but she had a special love for horses and dogs and donated to various rescue groups. In addition, she helped her friends with veterinary expenses many times. Laurie always had dogs because of their unconditional love and a cat because it’s good to stay humble.
Laurie will be sorely missed by all who knew her. She was a great teacher, a great Elk, and most of all a good friend, generous to a fault. She didn’t know a stranger, mainly because she would grill people mercilessly for all their personal information when she first met them. The funny thing was, no one ever seemed to mind because her interest was so genuine.
There will be a Memorial for Laurie at the Elks Lodge in Wofford Heights on December 28, 2019, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, it would have been Laurie’s wish to have people donate to California-Hawaii Elks Major Project, Inc. or Elks National Foundation.