Donna Ashbee, 82, of Glen Mills, the widow of former Flyers defenseman Barry Ashbee and a constant for many years at the team’s games and annual Flyers Wives Carnival charity event, died suddenly Monday, May 31, at home of what the family said was a cardiac event. The official cause of death is pending.

Mrs. Ashbee was married to Barry Ashbee, a former star defenseman and assistant coach with the Flyers who died of leukemia in 1977. The Barry Ashbee Trophy is awarded each year to the Flyers’ best defenseman in voting by local media, and Mrs. Ashbee often personally presented the trophy to the selected player.

“She loved hockey and the Flyers, and the whole family atmosphere around the team,” said her daughter, Heather Oehler.

The Flyers alumni association said on Twitter, “Donna was a wonderful person, and will be missed by all.”

In 2002, Mrs. Ashbee told The Inquirer that she met her husband when they were high school juniors in their hometown of Weston, Ontario, Canada. They lived in Hershey, Pa., while Barry played minor-league hockey and moved to the Rose Tree-Media area in Delaware County in 1970 when he joined the Flyers.

“We were in Hershey for eight years and loved it, and came here and also really loved it,” Mrs. Ashbee said in 2002. “It has been such a great experience being involved with the Flyers. The whole Flyers organization has been great to me and my family.”

Before her retirement, Mrs. Ashbee lived in Newtown Square, worked for the law firm of Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco, and volunteered at Riddle Memorial Hospital. She moved to Maris Grove in Glen Mills six years ago.

Mrs. Ashbee was often part of the annual Flyers Wives Carnival, one of the region’s most successful and popular charity fund-raisers, and she liked to invite her daughter and son Daniel, and grandchildren, Kyle and Casey Oehler, to the arena to participate.

“She was active all these years, and always wanted to help,” said Joe Kadlec, a former Flyers executive.

“Donna exemplified what it meant for the Philadelphia Flyers to be a true family and was a driving force in helping form the Flyers Wives Carnival,” the team said in a statement.

“She was close to everybody, a wonderful, wonderful woman,” said Paul Holmgren, a former Flyers player and current senior adviser.

In 2007, Mrs. Ashbee spoke of how the carnival kept her family close to the team. A portion of the proceeds each year are awarded to cancer and blood diseases research dedicated to her husband’s memory.

“Having Barry’s name attached to the success of this carnival is very important to me because my children, and now my grandchildren, can be a part [of the carnival],” she said. “My grandchildren learn something new or hear something they haven’t heard before each time the event rolls around. The older they get the more it means to them.”

Mary Ann Saleski, wife of former Flyer Don Saleski, said, “Love and loyalty was what Donna was all about. If you knew her, you had to like her.”

In addition to her children and grandchildren, Mrs. Ashbee is survived by sister Beverly Bradstock, and other relatives.

A funeral service and interment is to be later at Glendale Memorial Gardens, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.

Donations in her name may be made to the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148.