BASKING RIDGE, NJ – Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge will pay tribute to Candace “Candy” Ashmun, a champion of the Pinelands. Candace was a renowned conservationist whose life work was environmental preservation. Ashmun died recently at her home in Fellowship Village from non-COVID-19 related causes, at the age of 96.

Mrs. Ashmun was known as the “Godmother of the NJ Pines,” and for good reason. Ashmun was one of the original 15 commissioners and served the New Jersey Pinelands Commission for four decades. “The Pinelands has lost a very special champion, Candy Ashmun, who has effectively advocated for its protection so that people could experience its beauty and uniqueness for many generations to come,” said Richard Prickett, the Commission’s Chairman.

“Candy was our guide, our institutional memory, and our inspiration," Prickett said. "Perhaps no one in the history of our state has done more to safeguard the Pinelands and its world-renowned environment. Her contributions to the Pinelands are immeasurable, and we will miss her immensely.”

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Ashmun founded ANJEC, volunteered for Far Hill-based NJ Conservation Foundation

Ashmun also was the founding director of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), served on the State Planning Commission, and was a longtime volunteer for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, which had been formed in 1960 as the Great Swamp Committee, and is based in Far Hills.

A pioneer in her field, Ashmun was also a Pioneer Resident at Fellowship Village. Candy was one of a group of residents known as the Pioneers as they were the first to move to Fellowship Village upon the life plan community’s opening in 1996.  Candy was an active member of the Lifestyle Committee and worked with the Director of Hospitality and Independent Living Lifestyle on resident trips. She led several excursions to the Pinelands, the Highlands, the cranberry bogs, and other points of interest over the years, often stopping to have lunch at Whitesbog Village, where people were dressed in period costumes portraying and taking on the specific character of the time.  Mrs. Ashmun would give a special talk while on the bus to tell residents about the local area, and her stories about these destinations captivated her audience. Ashmun also led the Current Events meetings, where she would schedule speakers to discuss water conservation and the environment.  Of course, the most memorable was having Former Governor Tom Kean come to Fellowship Village where he spoke to an overflowed audience.  

In recent months, Ashmun was a member of the committee overseeing concept design for walking trail development at Fellowship Village, a nonprofit Life Plan Community. The project on the 72-acre landscape, will provide additional walking paths for the residents’ enjoyment and exercise. Fellowship will honor and celebrate Mrs. Ashmun’s legacy by dedicating part of the trails in her name. While in the early planning stages, initial ideas include six-foot-wide board walks, a sitting area and a bird blind. 

Gifts to support this project can be made to the Fellowship Foundation, whose mission is to advance the Fellowship Senior Living mission by providing philanthropic support to benefit Fellowship Village residents and older adults throughout the region through programs, services, and community enhancements.  The Foundation is committed to working in partnership with like-minded organizations in the broader community. A ribbon-cutting will be planned upon the completion of the new walking trails. Please note Candace Ashmun in the memo and forward to Fellowship Foundation at 8000 Fellowship Road, Basking Ridge, NJ, 07920.

About Fellowship Senior Living: The 72-acre Fellowship Village wooded campus, located in picturesque Basking Ridge, NJ, is home to over 400 residents enjoying lifestyles from single family independent living homes, villas and apartments to assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care homes. The Life Plan Community (also known as CCRC) offers a full complement of lifestyle enhancements, in addition to five-star dining. A new cultural arts center featuring a state-of-the-art-theater, upscale bar & lounge with alfresco dining, expanded medical center and spa and fitness center will ensure Fellowship Village remains a leader in senior living.  Fellowship Senior Living provides a continuum of care for seniors throughout New Jersey to include home-health services, hospice, Fellowship Freedom Plans and physical, occupational and speech therapies both on and off campus. As a nonprofit organization, focus remains steadfast on providing optimal industry best practices for residents, so they may enjoy a vibrant lifestyle. For more information, visit us at or call 908-428-4238.