Joan Ashliman, a cherished figure as a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, neighbor, and friend, peacefully departed from us on July 10th, 2023. Throughout her extraordinary journey, she radiated love, compassion, and had a profound impact on those fortunate enough to know her. Joan left an indelible mark on countless hearts through her gentle nature, unwavering encouragement, and contagious smile. Although we deeply mourn her absence, her memory will eternally reside within our hearts.
Born on April 25, 1937 in her grandmother’s home in Providence Utah, Joan was the only daughter of Marvin Leo Ashliman and Lola Ranzenberger Ashliman. She is the oldest of 4 children. Larry Ashliman (Annette), Ronald Ashliman (Karen), and Deloy Ashliman.
During her early years, she predominantly played the role of her mother's invaluable assistant. Her mother instilled in her a passion for cooking & baking, gardening, and sewing. Saturdays were dedicated to tidying up and tending to the garden, followed by the well-deserved treat of grocery shopping, and creating a delicious meal. A story she often shared was about getting her arm trapped in the ringer washer at the age of two, resulting in a broken arm, yet she remained stoic and never shed a tear. This incident remained indicative of her enduring resilience and remarkable pain tolerance throughout her life, as she seldom voiced any complaints.
Since she was young, she had a deep fondness for nature and cherished the attention of her daddy. As a family, they frequently embarked on drives through Logan Canyon and regularly camped amidst the wilderness, courtesy of her father's job with the forest service. She would often bring up their camping experiences near Swan Flat Road and Monte Cristo. One of her treasured pastimes involved setting up a hammock and marveling at the passing clouds. She frequently reminisced about the evenings spent with her brothers, putting on plays and skits. While their father was away working during the day, they would practice, then perform around the campfire at night. Her affinity for the outdoors persisted throughout her life, and she made sure to instill in her children an appreciation for spending time outside.
During her time in high school, she actively participated in the marching band as a clarinet player and had the fortunate opportunity to become the drum majorette. One of the memorable moments from her high school experience was a marching band excursion to Oregon. She acquired sewing skills and achieved recognition in 4-H competitions for numerous projects. Additionally, she demonstrated her creativity by designing, crafting, and proudly wearing her self-made prom dress.
She married her high school sweetheart, Vernal Ferguson, in 1953. Throughout their marriage, they welcomed five children into their lives, though one was unfortunately stillborn. Her children have fond memories of their upbringing, particularly during times of disputes when she would spontaneously break into song, singing "Love at Home." A serene and affectionate individual, she actively practiced her faith as a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her deep love for the Gospel was exemplified through her compassionate deeds, serving as a testament of her unwavering belief in Christ. Her unique talent for cultivating tranquility within her household left a lasting mark.
Joan exemplified exceptional commitment and diligence in her work. She diligently fulfilled her responsibilities during the night shift as a nurse's aide at Logan Regional Hospital. She also worked as a line worker at the cheese factory in Wellsville. Joan possessed a remarkable ability to accomplish any task she set her sights on.
Later she became a dedicated, hard-working single mother of four, shouldering the responsibilities on her own, until she tied the knot with Walter Blaylock in June 1967. Relocating her family to Twin Falls, Idaho, they welcomed three additional children, resulting in a bustling household of seven kids. As a team, they acquired a new home and “physically” transported it to their property. Despite limited finances, she exhibited her creativity by adorning each child's bedroom according to their individual interests.
She possessed remarkable skills in the art of sewing. From a young age, her mother instilled in her the knowledge of sewing, crocheting, and painting. She crafted numerous garments, including her own wedding dresses, showcasing her talent and creativity. To economize, she took it upon herself to design and produce her children's school attire, diligently working late into the night to ensure they had something new for the first day of classes. The process of selecting patterns and fabrics brought her immense joy. Furthermore, she lovingly handcrafted dance costumes for all five of her daughters, and her imaginative Halloween costumes always sparked excitement and anticipation.
Walt and Joan owned and managed The Camera Center in Twin Falls. Joan acquired expertise in overseeing and organizing her own business. While tending to her responsibilities, she often had her young children alongside her on blankets. Before long, she was presented with an opportunity to join a wedding catering and decorating business as a partner. Twin Falls witnessed the establishment of Sugar & Spice Wedding Catering, which allowed Joan to build a solid reputation in the bridal industry, forging a lifelong career. She bought a wedding reception center, Shangri-La Event Center, where she offered a comprehensive range of services for wedding parties. This encompassed a venue, invitations, decorations, bridal gowns, tuxedos, and catering for the entire occasion. This endeavor became an avenue for her creative talents to flourish, particularly in crafting stunning events with limited resources. Joan's oldest daughters frequently served as her assistants, aiding her both at home with the younger children and during planned events.
After being beckoned by her birthplace of Providence, Utah, she decided to sell her business and return to the very house where she was born. She spent the rest of her days there, cherishing the fact that she was residing in her grandmother's beloved home. Her yard, meticulously maintained, was a source of great pride for her. She relished the proximity to her mother, the mountains, and her beloved neighbors. Frequently, she could be seen leisurely reading cookbooks and eagerly arranging family get-togethers.
After working as a cook at Logan Regional Hospital, she yearned to return to her entrepreneurial roots. Her desire led her to renovate and transform her former garage into a charming bridal boutique, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. Thus, Petals & Promises Bridal Shop was born. When her youngest daughter reached adulthood at 18, they joined forces, becoming business partners. Their shared passion propelled the business to grow into larger locations over the years. With pride, she hired her granddaughter, witnessing the flourishing growth of the bridal shop and eventually passing the torch to her daughter. Today, the bridal shop thrives under the dedicated ownership of her granddaughter, remaining a family operated establishment.
Joan embraced the remaining years of her retirement, eagerly anticipating and cherishing each precious moment spent with her beloved family. As her health gradually declined, she discovered new friendships at Cache Valley Assisted Living and Maple Springs. Regardless of her location, she insisted on occupying a seat by the window, offering heartfelt farewells to those departing. Farewell, dear mother; your absence will be deeply felt. While we grieve Joan's departure, let us also commemorate her life and the profound influence she had on those fortunate enough to know her. Her compassionate nature, unwavering support, and genuine affection will forever be engraved in our memories. May we find comfort in knowing that Joan's spirit will continue to motivate and inspire us in the days that lie ahead.
Her surviving children: surviving wife of Randy Blaylock, (Vicki), Vickie Fitzgerald (Keith), Danny Blaylock (Annie), Sharlene Christiansen (Kirt), Melody Moser (Rod), Tanya Frantz (Jeff), Camia Haslam (Brant), and her brother Deloy Ashliman, bid her farewell with a wave. She leaves behind the legacy of 27 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren.
As she embarked on her next journey, she eagerly anticipated reuniting with those who came before her. Among those awaiting her arrival are her parents, her brothers Larry Ashliman and Ron Ashliman, her sons Randy Blaylock, and baby Michael, as well as her great-grandson Christian Vaca.
Funeral services will be held Friday July 14, at 12:00 pm at Allen-Hall Mortuary, 34 E Center St,. Logan. A viewing will be held prior from 10:30-11:30 am.
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