Ashley was a promising freshman at UM on April 11, 2005, when she was struck and killed by a car in the crosswalk of U.S. 1 at Mariposa. At the time of her passing, she had been named to the President’s Honor Roll, awaited induction into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and pursued a double major in journalism and political science with an eye toward contributing her inestimable talent to the betterment of her fellow man. She loved the sea, sand, surf, and sunsets, being an experienced scuba diver who experienced withdrawals whenever separated from her beloved shoreline. Ashley was salutatorian of the 2004 graduating class at Naples High School where she was captain of the state-finalist Mock Trial team, senior class Treasurer, and involved in the National Honor Society, Teen Advisory Council, Teen Court of Collier County, and other academic and community activities too numerous to mention. She had received countless commendations for her many academic achievements.
Ashley possessed the rare gift of coupling formidable intellect with heartfelt compassion in a manner that would have assured the accomplishment of all her aims. She employed this gift with such grace and dignity to engender love from those she knew and respect from those she encountered. Ashley was a daughter who far exceeded that which a parent could ever expect or deserve, a sister who served as an exemplary role model, a student who was a teacher’s dream, and a friend that a friend would love to have. She will always be cherished and remembered for her love of life, family, and friends.
As part of her high school graduation speech, Ashley stated “Regardless of which path we take in life, we hope to be remembered as someone who makes a difference in our time”. Certainly, she made a difference in her short time not only in the world around her but also the lives she touched.
Sherri Kelly is Ashley Kelly’s mother.