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Lauri "Kim" Ashland

November 3, 1957 ~ March 15, 2024 (age 66) 66 Years Old


With family by her side, Lauri “Kim” Ashland (née Freyberg) passed away peacefully on March 15, 2024. Kim will be remembered for the love she had for her family, the kindness she showed toward others, and her generosity of spirit. She was a person of faith, an attentive listener, and above all an empathetic person who put others first.

Kim was born November 3, 1957 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to parents Mavis Freyberg (La Rosa) and Donald Freyberg. She grew up in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.

Kim's husband of forty-three years and best friend, James (Jim) Ashland, was a constant source of love and support. Together, they welcomed not only life's challenges, but its joys as well. Kim and Jim first met in 1975 at Marquette University. They both played instruments in the school band. Kim played flute and Jim played saxophone. At Marquette, Kim excelled in school where she received her  Bachelor of Science in nursing degree in 1979. After graduating, Kim worked at various hospitals as a charge nurse and eventually a head nurse before taking a position as a utilization review specialist. Although Kim stopped working as a Registered Nurse to raise her two sons, she was and continued to remain for the rest of her life deeply knowledgeable in various fields of medicine, including mainstream and holistic approaches to health and healing. Kim was a lifelong learner and an excellent teacher, and if you had a question related to healthcare, she had an answer.

Kim was also an avid collector. For most of her life she enjoyed buying and selling collectibles, especially vintage Madame Alexander dolls and Gone With the Wind memorabilia. She found tremendous joy in doing this, but the real reason she continued collecting was because of the close friendships she made over the years. Kim had a passion for music and going to concerts, especially those that featured Barry Manilow, Josh Groban, and others. She fell in love with her favorite movie, Gone With the Wind, in high school, and she always embraced the opportunity to watch this four-hour epic with anyone willing. Kim was also an amazing event planner; she loved Christmas and organized family holidays, and anything memorable was always the result of her careful planning and attention to detail. She inherited an appreciation for food and cooking from her mother, Mavis, and took pride in having home-cooked meals for her family.

Kim is survived by her husband, Jim, her two sons, Drew (Laural) and Alex (Sarah), and her grandchildren, Emma Grace, and Ava Claire. Loving sister to Cherie Vivian Peronetti and Donald (Jane) Freyberg, aunt to Samuel and Benjamin Freyberg, and Annie (Tim) Rosentreter. She was preceded in death by her parents. Kim loved that her grandchildren, Emma, and Ava, called her “Kiki,” and she sang them songs in her beautiful, effortless voice. Kim would always tell Drew and Alex that she wished she could attend major events in person, such as graduation or sports games. Her sons hope she knew that they always felt loved and supported. Kim and Jim would often attend baseball games by parking just beyond the outfield fence. They would cheer from the car, and it was just as good as if they had been in the stands. Kim was endlessly supportive and encouraged her sons to do what made them happiest.

As her family and many of her friends know, Kim battled chronic health issues throughout her lifetime. Despite this, she never let these challenges define her. Instead, Kim was a strong and resilient woman who endured life's challenges with determination and hopefulness. In the words of her favorite singer, Barry Manilow, she “made it through the rain” with a warm smile and a laugh that could light up a room. Kim was grateful and overjoyed to be able to be physically present at Alex and Sarah's wedding at Gesu church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her family is grateful for every moment they were able to spend with her.

A special thanks to the doctors, nurses, therapists and staff at Aurora Wiselives, Aurora Health at Home, and DaVita Brookfield Dialysis, for their kind, compassionate, and attentive care.

Kim leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and talent to inspire all who knew her. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends, but her spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those she touched. May she rest in peace.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Milwaukee Rescue Mission or the Wounded Warrior Project.

Visitation will be held Thursday, April 4, 2024 at Becker-Ritter Funeral Home (14075 W North Ave,) from 4:00-6:00PM followed by a tribute from the Wisconsin Nurses Honor Guard. A private Catholic service will be held at St. Mary’s Parish in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, on Friday, April 5, 2024. Kim’s final resting place is at Highland Memorial Park in New Berlin, Wisconsin.


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