Jennifer Jane Vandeman Ashworth passed away on Tuesday, June 9, at Augusta Medical Center after a brief bout of pneumonia.

She was born in Ohio to Jane and Jack Vandeman on June 13, 1947, and grew up in Berea, Ohio, attending Northwestern University and Cleveland State University, where she received her bachelor of arts in music.

She was an accomplished oboist, flautist and vocalist.

Jennifer was preceded in death by her parents and her son, Attar Ashworth. She is survived by her son, Amar Ashworth, of New Bern, N.C., his father David Ashworth of Lexington, her brother Charles Louis Vandeman and his wife Nancy, of The Plains, Ohio.

Jennifer moved to Lexington in 1979. She served as the administrative assistant of the Washington and Lee University history department from 1990 until her retirement in 2018. As the public face of the history department, Jennifer loved welcoming and helping all who came by her desk. She made it her personal mission to shower warmth, cheer and brightness, always with an infectious smile, both in her professional and her personal life.

She was a long-standing and valued member of both the Wednesday Night Knitting Society and the Rockbridge Choral Society.

Whether you were a recent acquaintance or a longtime member of her tribe, Jennifer was a loyal, generous and beloved friend.

A private graveside service will be held in the county, where her ashes will be interred beside those of her son, Attar. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jennifer’s honor may be made to the Rockbridge Choral Society. (http://