Sunday, July 21, 2024

Ashley Elizabeth Williams, 20, of Williamsburg

Ashley Elizabeth Williams, 20, departed this world unexpectedly and all too soon on June 14, 2024. She was a bright light in this world who is now sending us light from heaven above.

Ashley was born May 18, 2004 in Williamsburg, a happy and thriving child from the beginning. She brought immeasurable joy to her family as they watched her grow up. She attended Rawls Byrd Elementary, Berkeley Middle and Lafayette High. She was a leader in her class, excelled in school, participated in several high school sports, made countless friendships, and was loved by all.

After high school graduation in 2022, she chose to continue her education at James Madison University where she recently completed her sophomore year. She was majoring in psychology and minoring in business. She was working this summer again at the Governor’s Land country club restaurant, where she enjoyed interacting with the customers and her co-workers. She was excited to use her God given talents in a future career to positively impact others and change the world in some way. She was passionate about helping others and building others up to feel better about themselves.

To know Ashley was to love her. Her zest for life, infectious smile, genuine laughter, and thoughtful spirit drew people to her. She brightened up any room. She deeply valued her friendships and relationships with people. Her ability to use words, both written and spoken, to convey her thoughts was a gift. She never shied from an opportunity to debate with others and while she held strong opinions on many topics, she remained curious and open to hearing differing views.

She could so easily build connections with people and had a unique ability to look past things others saw as negative and find the positive in others. Her forgiving spirit and generous nature were a testament to her faith in Jesus, which she affirmed when she chose baptism and a life committed to Christ in 2016.

Ashley experienced countless successes and celebrations during her twenty years. Perhaps the one that she was most proud of was overcoming an eating disorder. During her junior year in high school, what began as a quest to lose 10 pounds she had gained during an inactive Covid shutdown era, quickly turned into a life-threatening and devastatingly serious eating disorder. Thankfully, we were able to quickly secure aggressive and intensive treatment for her that ultimately led to her finding a successful recovery. She remained committed to her recovery up until her death. Ashley shared her story freely in the hopes of helping others and was always eager to support someone who was struggling.

While Ashley’s time on this earth was far too short, the impact she made on others was significant. Our deepest desire, even in our unimaginable grief, is to continue making an impact in our daughter’s memory. With that in mind, we have set up a fund in Ashley’s name. All donated money will be used to provide financial support to families who are seeking/receiving treatment for an eating disorder.

Please consider donating to this fund so that Ashley’s desire to help others in this world can be carried out even after her passing from this earth. Donations can be made via Venmo to @AshleysHeartForRecovery. Alternatively, checks (made out to Ashley’s Heart For Recovery) can be given to the Williams family or mailed to Towne Bank, c/o Kelly McCann, 1119 S Church Street, Smithfield, VA 23430.

Ashley is survived by her parents, Heather and JB Williams; her brother, Joseph Williams; her sister, Kathryn Williams; and her loving dog, Jaks. Also grandparents, Bob and Penny Kidd (Nana and Bubob), and Joe and Jennifer Williams (B and G). She was loved by her aunts, Kirstin ”Kiki” Cook (Milton) and Landis “Landy” Bradham (Bramblett); and her cousins, Colby Cook, Anna Cook, Wills Bradham, Hollis Bradham, and Bram Bradham. In addition, she is survived by her birth father, Everette “Thumper” Newman; her brother, Matt Newman, her aunt Kimberly Newman; and cousins, Beau Newman and Nathan Newman. She is preceded in death by her brother, Benjamin Newman; and grandparents Janice Ingram and Haley Newman.

A celebration of life will be held for Ashley on Friday, June 28th at 2:00 pm at the Williamsburg Community Chapel. A reception, just outside the sanctuary, will follow immediately after where guests are invited to share a memory of Ashley.

Those who knew Ashley would agree that she would not want this to be a time of mourning, but rather a time of celebration for a life well lived. Please wear colorful clothes (pink was her favorite color) in honor of her vivacious spirit and joyful nature. Our family so deeply appreciates all the love and support shown by those who knew and loved Ashley.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

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