Barbara Ashbrook

Obituary of Barbara Ann Ashbrook

Barbara Ann Ashbrook, 71, of Washington, DC died peacefully on October 25, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. 


Barbara was born to John and Joan Ashbrook on June 17, 1949 in Columbus, Ohio. She is survived by her sisters, Laura Ashbrook and Madeline Ashbrook; her loving son Joseph (Jennifer) Robertson; grandchildren Hillary (Grant) Robertson Jones, Grace Robertson, Ava Robertson, and Noah Robertson; nieces Leah and Rachel Holland; and many loving cousins. 


After graduating from Johnstown-Monroe High School in 1967, Barbara began her undergraduate studies at Ashland College (now Ashland University) in Ashland, Ohio, completing her B.S degree in 1972 and then her graduate degree in English literature from The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1978.  Barbara worked for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for 32 years, last serving as the Assistant Director before her retirement in 2016.  Barbara was committed to NEH and its efforts to strengthen our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans.


Barbara had a passion for life and some of her greatest joys revolved around horses which started while in Charlottesville, Virginia during graduate school and continued through retirement most recently with dear friends at Van Vixen Farm.  She was especially proud of her grandchildren and enjoyed traveling with her many trips around the world studying history and architecture along the way. 


The family plans to hold a memorial service to honor Barbara’s life at a later date and at her request, Barbara’s ashes will be laid to rest in Green Hill Cemetery in Johnstown, Ohio.


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