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Harriet Elizabeth Ashbay

February 18, 1929 - July 06, 2021



Harriet Elizabeth Ashbay of Manton, Michigan passed away, July 6, 2021 at Pleasant Lake Lodge in Cadillac. She was 92.

Harriet was born February 18, 1929 in Ann Arbor Michigan to Charles Edward and Esther Alyce (Aseltine) Bowling and they preceded her in death. On March 4, 1950 in Ann Arbor, Michigan she married Lewis Junior Ashbay and he preceded her in death on July 26, 2018.

Harriet graduated from the University of Michigan High School and later worked at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lansing. Harriet later retired from Michigan State University’s Geography Department. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manton for many years.

She was an amazing woman, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Harriet had a gift that engaged others. She was a fantastic conversationalist and genuinely was interested in others. Children were drawn to her; neighborhood children were always around and she helped shape and guide them in a fun way. Harriet loved her perfect grandchildren and loved to play games with a competitive spirit and Harriet’s rules.

She is survived by her children: Gordon (Valli) Ashbay of Grand Ledge, Gary (Ellen) Ashbay of Battle Creek and Lucinda (Michael) Rathbun of Cadillac; 8 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by a son, Warren E. Ashbay and siblings: William, Edith, Babe, Catherine, Chester, and Charles.

Graveside services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday July 24, 2021, at Fairview Cemetery in Manton. A luncheon will follow at her home.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church or to Hospice of Michigan Cadillac Chapter. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Gary Ashbay - Jul 8th, 2021 6:46 am

    "Mom was an amazing women! She had lots of love for everyone. I loved her very much and will miss her."

  • Sharon Ruggles - Jul 8th, 2021 7:35 am

    "I worked with Harriet for many years at MSU. I enjoyed our many walks. She was always positive with a great sense of humor. I loved hearing stories about her young life in Ann Arbor and her children and grandchildren. I will miss her dearly."

  • Robin Brough - Jul 8th, 2021 8:22 am

    "I always loved your bubbly disposition & how you always made everything fun. RIP Aunt Harriet I love you! ❤"

  • Esther Ashbay - Jul 8th, 2021 2:17 pm

    "So sorry to hear of Harriet’s home going, she will be greatly missed. She was a wonderful person and always so thoughtful. Dallas and I loved to go up and play cards with your mom and dad. Always a great time! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May you rest in God’s love peace and comfort."

  • Shelby - Jul 8th, 2021 6:00 pm

    "Thinking of you"

  • Lisa Ashbay-Singh - Jul 8th, 2021 7:07 pm

    "We love you so much Grandma!! You will be greatly missed and always in our hearts. We cannot believe you are gone but we know you are in heaven with Grandpa and Jesus. "

  • Lori Lierman - Jul 9th, 2021 11:12 am

    "I will miss your wonderful smile and big hugs. Harriet, you are so loving and sweet. "

  • Tim Gill - Jul 9th, 2021 12:36 pm

    "Harriet was a kind and amazing women. Always enjoyed speaking to her. She loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and was very proud of their achievements. What a wonderful life!"

  • Jada Schmittling - Jul 9th, 2021 5:33 pm

    "We love you always Grandma! I’ll miss your Facebook messages and the fun stories from the past. I’ll always remember how much you loved hearing me play and how much you wanted my clothes from my closet. Even though you loved cheating at cards, I will still miss those double solitaire games. Love you, miss you and will remember you always. "

  • Lucinda Rathbun - Jul 10th, 2021 5:22 am

    "Mom started our day with good morning and we knew we ended our day in her prayers. She lived a beautiful ❤️ life. Mom had a special way with children which is so apparent by the beautiful family she and Dad raised, a family that loved her so much. Mom never missed an opportunity to play cards or games. She was so blessed by God. She was dearly loved by Dad and she is resting in the arms of Jesus which is our comfort. I love my mom so much. ❤️❤️❤️ "

  • Gordon Ashbay - Jul 12th, 2021 9:08 am

    "Mom was a wonderful mother. She had a strong faith in God that helped her through the journey of life. I will miss all those conversations we had throughout my life. I know that she is in heaven with Warren and Dad. Rest in peace Mom."

  • Mel & Kim Manning - Jul 21st, 2021 11:26 am

    "Thinking of everyone in the Ashbay family. So sorry for the loss of your Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma. "

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