“Makana” Mary Ashelman
“Makana” Mary Ashelman died at her home in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 after an extended battle with Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Everyone she met during her very active life loved Makana. Wherever she traveled, her warm smile and bright, unconditionally loving spirit won lifelong friends. She loved adventure and welcomed everyone to be part of the fun. Everywhere she lived, she became a community builder; bringing people and projects together. This was particularly true in Austin, Texas, and in Shepherdstown, Berkeley Springs and Romney, West Virginia.
She loved the outdoors, nature and animals, especially horses and dogs. Hawaii was dear to her heart, having returned again this winter after living there for 3.5 years in the early 90’s. She loved the ocean and often called forth her water friends by building a mermaid sand sculpture while at the beach. Makana delighted in her family and took great pride in her children and grandchildren.
Makana was born Mary C. Conn on April 16, 1945, to Bernard and Evelyn Conn. She grew up in Washington DC and frequently visited Berkeley Springs and Hancock to spend time with relatives.
After graduating from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, she went on to Pennsylvania State University and received her degree in journalism in just three years. Writing was a passion throughout her life. After graduation, Makana worked for The Washington Post, The Reston Times and The Washington Star. She was also employed as a public relations manager for singer Ray Charles as well as Coolfont Recreation in Berkeley Springs.
In 1978, Makana married Randall Ashelman, and they shared a full, dynamic, and happy life for the next thirty-four years.
Makana is survived by her husband Randall; her children Sidra, Todd, Sam, and stepson Scott; and her grandchildren Chase, Kristen, and Greg.
The Family wishes to thank all the wonderful people who provided delicious food and sat with Makana during her illness. That gift made the process so much easier on the family. There are too many of you to mention here.
A fun memorial Gathering will be held on Sunday, June 24th, 2 pm at the Berkeley Springs Presbyterian Church. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Hospice of the Panhandle, Sr. Life Services of Morgan Co. or the CJD Foundation are encouraged for the very special work they do.
This is a paid obituary.