Askins, longtime educator, dies at 83
Thomas Morgan Askins, 83, of Fayetteville, a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean Conflict and longtime educator here, died Wednesday (April 17, 2013) in Huntsville Hospital.
He was born Nov. 16, 1929 in the Harms community of Lincoln County to the late Joe Walter and Nancy Gertrude Wilson Askins.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Alice Askins of Fayetteville; daughters, Regina Parham of Washington, D.C., and Myra “Terri” Askins of Geneva, Switzerland; son, Brian (Tammy) Trice of Charlotte, N.C.; sisters, Delorse Lewis of Nashville and Peggy Askins of Spring Hill; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives.
After being educated in the Lincoln Country school system, Thomas enrolled at Tennessee A&I (Tennessee State University) in the Agriculture Department. Two years later, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict. Thomas served his country valiantly as an artillery specialist while being stationed in Germany. After completing his tenure in the Army, he returned to A&I where he obtained his bachelor’s degree.
Thomas was employed by the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago for a short time prior to returning to Lincoln Country to work for the City of Fayetteville. He shortly began his teaching career at Market Street Elementary School.
Thomas – TA as he was affectionately called – served as the assistant principal, progressing to principal, in the then segregated schools. After desegregation, Thomas worked at Fayetteville Junior High School as the assistant principal, as well as a math, science and industrial arts instructor.
In the late 1970s, he completed his master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University while earning extra credit toward a future degree. He retired from teaching in 1995 after serving over 37 years.
Anyone who knew Thomas well knew that his two loves were education and farming. Retirement gave him the chance to become the full-time farmer that he always longed to be. Shortly after retirement, he was appointed to the Lincoln County Farm Service Committee (ASCS). He enthusiastically served for a number of years.
Funeral services were held on Saturday (April 20) at 2 p.m. at Gallant-Riverview Funeral Home. Burial was in Browns Temple Cemetery. Lewis & Wright Funeral Home of Nashville was in charge of arrangements.