Asheley Michelle McCleary, DVM, of Vaughn, Washington, age 46, passed away Aug. 3, 2023, in the loving arms of her husband. Asheley will be remembered for her loyalty, honesty and drive. She was a devoted mother and pioneer of Dutch Shepherd breeding in America.
Born in Orlando, Florida, Asheley distinguished herself as a bright, even overeager, student. At age 20 she received a degree in microbiology from Georgia Tech. During veterinary school at Iowa State, she found Dana V. Kelterhof, the Dutch Shepherd who became her soul mate and the founding mother of a breeding program that would stretch 16 years and produce 29 litters and 198 puppies, earning hundreds of confirmation, agility and working titles.
As a veterinarian in Salt Lake City, Utah, Asheley specialized in canine reproduction. She became known for her “amazingly high” success rate when performing surgical artificial insemination. She inspired several veterinary technicians to become veterinarians.
Asheley will be remembered for her devotion, for going all in on every relationship and always choosing to help others. She touched many more lives than she knew.
An outstanding endurance athlete who loved the outdoors, Asheley once entered an endurance snowshoe race on a whim and finished second female overall, beating both the sunrise and several professional racers with ice crystals streaked across her face. At that time she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She pushed her husband Josh to go back to school and supported him as he became an engineer. He, along with enduring support from her father and mother, supported her when she had to leave her jobs due to lack of accommodations for her MS. They moved to Washington in 2015. Their son Orion was born in 2020.
Her Dutch Shepherd breeding program was known for providing high-quality working dogs with strong drive and good social stability. Versatile and good thinkers, her dogs started numerous police K9 and search and rescue programs. She had a remarkable sense of ethics and duty.
A lifelong high-achiever, she was devastated when her MS progressed to overwhelming fatigue that no longer allowed her to keep up with life. She suffered from depression. Yet she put on a loving face. She made it through the bad days to give the good days to her friends and family. Orion flooded her life with joy.
Close friends and family offered these remembrances of her character: “She was an extraordinary woman, so devoted to others.” “She was stronger than anyone knew.” “She was, in many respects, fearless.” “She loved you with her whole heart, didn’t hold anything back, ever.”
She is survived by her husband Joshua, son Orion, mother Angela Lane, father Thomas Lane, grandmother Emily Blanca, sister and brother-in-law Kimberly and Andrew Dreslin, and nieces Lane, Linnea and Lolly Dreslin.
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