Raymond D. Askins

January 25, 1921 ‒ December 07, 2009

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD ~ “You know, I have had the greatest ‘run’ in life that could be possible considering how poor we were.” …wrote Ray Askins in his personal memoirs. He attributed much of his success to his “wonderful wife that helped us grow and prosper”…and his children, who shared with them a wonderful life, full of trips with “ham roll-ups.” May the Lord Jesus Christ be praised.

Civically active and heavenly minded, Ray Askins went to be with the Lord Monday morning December 7, 2009. He was 88.

Born January 25, 1921 “in a pretty ramshackle old home in Elida, Ohio,” he was the oldest son of Stuart E. and Mamie A. (Snow) Askins, who lamented that now that his birthplace, the old Boyer Place, is gone, it will never be made a shrine.

No stranger to hard work, Ray filled gunnysacks with corncobs from a local elevator, toting them a mile to their home, as heating fuel, as well as gleaning coal along railroad tracks and running a trap line for muskrats.

After high school graduation, Ray served three years in the U.S. Army, in the European Theatre. Before being shipped off to war, he married Ruth J. Irwin on November 20, 1941 in Allen County.

Hired as a purchasing agent in Lima for the former Telephone Service of Ohio (TSO), he was promoted to Assistant to he President. TSO merged with United Telephone of Ohio, and he moved his family to Mansfield in the 1960s. He served as an executive the utility now known as Century Link until his retirement in 1984.

While working at Sprint, Ray was elected to the Board of Directors for Bank One, and served as past president of The Greater Mansfield Growth Association, The Junior Achievement of Mansfield, The Area Industrial Growth Corporation, and the United Community Service.

Mr. Askins served on the executive board of directors of the Boy Scouts of America, and also served on the board of directors of Westbrook Country Club, Mansfield Memorial Homes and Richland County Transit.

His technical knowledge of telecommunications, and his interest in promoting the good of the community, caused the Richland County Commissioners to pursue Ray at the time 9-1-1 services were being established in the county. Hence, he served as Director of the Richland County Emergency Management Agency until his second retirement in August of 2003. Ray’s home-going occurred on the 20th anniversary of 9-1-1 services in Richland County, inaugurated by a call placed by his grandson Luke. Ray was posthumously awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his contribution to establishing 9-1-1.

Ray was a member of First Alliance Church, where he enjoyed singing in the choir. An avid fly fisherman, he also enjoyed hunting and golfing.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years Ruth; three children and their spouses Mark and Robin Askins of Overland Park, Kansas, Stephanie and Phil Peters of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Emily and Ken Straw of Shelby; grandsons Luke Askins and Matthew Askins both of Overland Park, KS; two brothers Clifford Eugene Askins and Carl Askins and one sister Melba Clark; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of brothers- and sisters-in-Christ.

He was preceded in death by brothers W. Marion Askins and Kenneth Askins.

The Askins family will receive friends Wednesday, December 9, 2009 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. The worship service, giving glory to God for the life of Ray Askins will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. in First Alliance Church, 291 West Cook Road, with Pastor Jim Cheatham officiating. Military honors will be conducted by Richland County Joint Veterans Detail. Burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.

Red carnations are welcome.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Askins family, and condolences to them may be made by visiting: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com