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Josephine Ashmun

January 1, 1980

1980 – Midland, Michigan

Josephine Griswold Ashmun was born in Midland, the daughter of Thomas Griswold, Jr. and Helen Josephine Dow. Both families were prominent in the development of the city of Midland and Mr. Griswold was a leader in the development of The Dow Chemical Company (as its second-hired employee). Jo Ashmun was a talented musician and gave a good deal of her life to the encouragement of musical endeavors. A member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, she served for many years as organist, moving from the original small frame church to the present Alden Dow– designed edifice which she long served and supported. A woman of great humor, full of interesting tales, Jo Ashmun was an inspiration to those working for the advancement of the arts at Northwood and elsewhere. She was extremely supportive of the Midland Symphony. In 1980 the Ashmun Chamber Series, named in her honor, was premiered by the Symphony at the Midland Center for the Arts. She also greatly encouraged the development of the Northwood Symphonette, later the Northwood Orchestra, an all-professional chamber orchestra sponsored by the University. She attended each of its initial tours throughout the United States. Mrs. Ashmun’s husband, Louis Henry Ashmun, was a chemical engineer from Case Western Reserve. (Deceased 1987)