It has been nearly a month since my cousin Ashley Simpson disappeared without a trace from her life in Salmon Arm, B.C. The RCMP continue to investigate, but there is still no sign of her.
The long weekend was very hard on the family. Ashley and her Dad run the catering for a longhouse up in Huntsville, Ontario, and they are supposed to start soon. They have been doing this for years, and now John feels great sadness in embarking on this journey on his own.
Instead of focusing on the negative, while we still have no news, Amanda Haverman and I are asking people to share their stories about Ashley, hoping to focus on all the goodness, light, fun, and hope she brought to this world.
John sent me this reference letter that Ashley received.
Ashley is a dedicated, productive, and intelligent worker who would be an asset in any work environment. She worked at our family camp this summer with her father preparing and serving 3 meals a day for 10 -20 people and did it with a calm capability that is not often seen in someone her age. She kept all of the public spaces at the camp neat and clean and cheerfully put up with less than stellar living arrangements.
She interacts well with people of all ages and the children especially loved her. All around she was a
pleasure to have around.
There were two particularly telling incidents this summer that underscored Ashley’s presence of mind
and dedication to her job. The first involved a renegade bear that kept approaching our camp over
several days. Ashley sounded the alarm on more than one occasion, made sure that everyone was
safely inside and then she scared the bear away by banging pots and pans. Second, due to a lost car
key there were several guests that had to stay over in camp for an extra night. Despite the fact that it
was on her one night off per week, she made sure that they had food for dinner and even prepared
breakfast the next morning.
We are hoping that Ashley will return to our camp next summer and for many more years beyond.