Gradually, then suddenly... It is with intense sadness that we share the passing of our beloved Ashley Nicole Doonan, age 26, passed away unexpectedly on November 29, 2018 while pursuing her PhD in rhetoric and writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Ashley was born on December 13, 1991 in Beverly, MA to Dr. Gregg C. Doonan (predeceased) and Catherine M. Curtis. She was also the stepdaughter of Wayne E. P. Valley who loved her as his own. Ashley spent her early years between Peabody and Danvers, MA before moving to Ossipee and Freedom, NH where she became a graduate of Kennett High School. Her love of learning was recognized at a young age, with her vivid imagination and zest for reading. As she was introduced to Hemingway, Dickinson, and Plath, her passion for writing and literature grew exponentially. Ashley went on to attend the University of New Hampshire to earn both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in English literature, graduating with honors. Academia was Ashley’s safe haven and her professors and peers at UNH were her second family. Her thirst for knowledge could never be quenched and a running joke was that she was a “professional student,” which she always took pride in. Therefore, it came as no surprise when she decided to further her education at Bowling Green State University to work towards her PhD.
Beyond education, Ashley was a proud New Englander; a lover of the changing seasons, the White Mountains, and the cobblestone streets of Boston. However, it was the beautiful coastline from Cape Cod to Hampton Beach that provided her with some of her fondest memories: riding the waves with her dad and siblings from dusk till dawn, getting shamelessly sunburnt, and pushing the limits on how deep she could swim before the lifeguard called her back to shore. Other loves of Ashley included pumpkin spice lattes, sunflowers, manicures, candles, pearls, ice cream, red wine, and Lilly Pulitzer. Additionally, her writings were read outside of the classroom, in the form of various online blogs that were received with respect and admiration. On these platforms, she was able to be an advocate for mental health, inspiring more people than she will ever know. Her goal was to eliminate the stigma associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety, as she did her best to overcome her own struggles.
Ashley will be deeply missed by her loving siblings: Katie, Ryan, Danielle, and Kyle. She also leaves behind her Aunt Heather & Uncle Peter Proulx of Beverly, MA, Aunt Beth Osgood of Danvers, MA, Aunt Sheri & Uncle Jack O’Dea of Haverhill, MA, Uncle Tim & Aunt Vet Curtis of Nashua, NH, Aunt Jessica and Josh Hodgdon of Effingham, NH, Uncle Joe Williams of Effingham, NH, Aunt Lynn Boillot of Conway, NH, Great Aunt Helen & Great Uncle Dick Babson of Salem, MA, and Great Aunt Beverly and Great Uncle Bobby of Milford, MA. Additionally, she will be missed by an array of beautiful cousins.
During this unspeakable tragedy, we find comfort knowing Ashley is now in Heaven wrapped in her father’s loving arms and surrounded by her maternal grandparents, Nancy and Barney Williams, as well as her paternal grandparents, Connie and Manning Osgood.
Calling hours will be Friday December 7, 2018 from 6-8PM at Lord Funeral Home, 50 Moultonville Road, Center Ossipee, NH. Funeral services will be held Saturday, 11:00am at the Crossroads Church, 2205 Rt. 16, West Ossipee, NH.
In lieu of flowers, donations made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness and/or the National Eating Disorders Association in Ashley’s memory would be greatly appreciated.