William Caldwell Askew – Obituary

By  | June 2, 2018 | Filed under: Higgins Funeral Home, Obituaries

A memorial service for Mr. William Caldwell Askew, age 85, of Fayetteville, TN, will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, June 9, at Fayetteville First United Methodist Church with Rev. Whitney Mitchell and Rev. Tommy Ward officiating. Visitation with the family will be Saturday at 12:00 pm until the time of the service at 2:00 at the church. He died peacefully at his home surrounded by family on June 1, 2018.

Mr. Askew was born on December 23, 1932, in Fayetteville to the late Caldwell and Mildred Gotcher Askew. A 1951 graduate of Lincoln County Central High, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1955.

His professional career in the U.S. space program spanned five decades. He began as a co-op student for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Huntsville, AL in 1954 while still a student at Vanderbilt. He entered federal service in 1955 as an engineer with the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency (renamed NASA in 1960) in Huntsville, AL, and worked on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs. While with NASA, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service and the Silver Snoopy Awards. Upon his retirement in 1989, he was employed by Thiokol Corporation as manager of the Huntsville Space Operations office.

Passionate about children and quality education, Mr. Askew served as a member and later as Chairman of the Fayetteville City School Board from 1969 until 1992. He was named to the “All Tennessee School Board” in 1992 and received the C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award that year, the highest honor given to school board members in Tennessee.

Mr. Askew was a lifelong member of the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church where he taught children, youth, and adult Sunday School classes. He was a Stephen Minister.

Mr. Askew was a farmer in Lincoln County, TN. His faith, family, friends and following his favorite sports teams brought him great joy. He was true to the schools he loved: Fayetteville City Schools, and Vanderbilt University.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Carolyn Askew; children, William Askew, Jr., Ann (Billy) Hatcher, Alison (John) Hoagland of Fayetteville, and Robert (Susan) Askew of Sewanee, TN; grandchildren, Alex (Holly) Hoagland of Fayetteville, Katie (Josh) Little of Bradford, TN, Ben (Kelley) Hoagland of Chattanooga, TN, Carrie (Patrick) Turner of Huntsville, AL, Bond (Natalie) Hatcher of Fayetteville, and Spears Askew of Sewanee, TN; great grandchildren Gracie Hoagland and Lily Hoagland of Fayetteville, Eli Little and Clay Little of Bradford, TN, Caroline Hoagland and Margaret Hoagland of Chattanooga, TN, Roslyn Pigg and Hazel Turner of Huntsville, AL, and a ninth great grandchild expected in November. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Joe Askew.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fayetteville First United Methodist Church, 200 North Elk Avenue, Fayetteville, TN 37334, or to the Frank Kelso Scholarship Fund, 114 Brookmeade Circle, Fayetteville, TN 37334.

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