Funeral services for Edward Clifford Askins, 94, nickname “Rooster,” born March 29, 1926, of Fayetteville passed away October 25, 2016 at 6:50 a.m. at St. Thomas Hospital, after a long battle of Multiple Myeloma blood cancer. Services will be conducted Saturday, October 29, 2016, at 2 PM at Higgins Funeral Home, with Rev. Jimmy Miller officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Memorial Gardens.
A native of Lincoln County, Mr. Askins was the son of the late Manley and Louella Ables Askins of Taft. Mr. Askins was married for sixty eight (68) years to the late, Carrie Evelyn Askins who passed October 31, 2012. Mr. Askins is survived by three children: Larry Edward Askins of Fairfax Station, VA, Fonda Askins Blair of Murfreesboro, and Wanda Cavaliere of Mission Viejo, CA. Mr. Askins dearly loved and enjoyed his Five (5) grandchildren, twelve (12) Great grandchildren, and One (1) Great-great grandchild. Three brothers and a sister preceded Clifford in death: Johnny, Manley Jr., Robert P. and LouAnner, who died as a baby of diptheria.
Mr. Askins retired from Kraft General Foods after forty-eight (48) years, was a member of the First Baptist Church and served in the United States Army. After he retired from Kraft, he assisted “Nanny Mama,” who owned the Smiling Faces Pre-School for thirty-five years. Clifford was beloved by the daycare children who lovingly called him, “Paw-Paw.” Many of the children stayed in touch with “Nanny and Paw-Paw” through college and their adult life.
Clifford’s legacy among many, is that he made it known to his children that he had goals he wanted to achieve in his time on earth: a goal to get to heaven, to never say an unkind word about anybody, to be a Godly man, for all three children to put God first, have faith in God, and for each to obtain a college education. He achieved all his goals. He is fondly remembered by the grandchildren as loving, always smiling, happy and holding them in his lap, and reading the bible to them starting when they were babies. In one Bible to a twin daughter, he wrote, “Make every minute count,” and cited his favorite Bible verses.
Visitation with the family will be Friday, October 28, 2016, from 5- 8 pm at Higgins Funeral Home.
I was one of those beloved daycare children
over 60 years ago and still have the fondest memories of those days and all the family and fun we had. You all are in my thoughts and prayers
A Celebration of our Dad’s Life- Edward Clifford Askins
by: Wanda Cavaliere –October 29, 2016
Grief has been described as coming in waves. I understand that now. We were ready to fly out to honor Dad, when my lab tests and ultrasound came back several hours before our flight, with my physician’s strong warning not to fly with the hole in my heart until I had surgery, due to a possible blood clot or heart attack.
I am saddened and so devastated, that I know I will never get over missing Daddy’s memorial service today, and missing the opportunity to see each of you wonderful friends and family again. Your lives touched Daddy and his life touched each of yours.
It’s the heart of a man that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, but not according to what he has; that described our Daddy’s heart.
Our Dad was faithful and his love was unconditional. He left a legacy of good will in our hearts, and throughout his walk in life, and whom all that he touched, he had a power of purpose. A vison of that faithfulness: The years Larry fought in Vietnam, I saw Dad on his knees praying for hours.
Our Daddy was always a father who took responsibility for his actions and took care of the spiritual, financial, emotional well-being of our family. He’ was a pillar of strength, support and discipline. More importantly, he served God, prepared us for adulthood, and was always dependable. Instead of a children’s storybook, he read us the Bible. He called it the most important book for Jesus to guide us in life, and he did the same for the grandkids. When they wanted, “Paw -Paw,” to read a storybook he would respond, your parents can read the storybooks, “I will read you the greatest, true storybook of all times, God’s Bible.” Pictures taken over the years depict Dad and babies asleep after he had read them the Bible, with it in his lap. He instilled a good work ethic in all of us kids and led by example. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son; good fathers are forever hopeful and inspire their families to push beyond themselves; that was Dad. Thank you Dad for your legacy of love and values to our son, Michael and all the grandkids. Thank you for your weekly, pushing us toward goals, when you would say, “ When you each go to college, you will be able to do this, or that,” pushing us toward the goals you had set for us.
Dad was a man of honor; his word was his bond, and had tremendous family values. He left us an impressionable testimony as to his faith in God. One key example is his teaching us and the grandkids about the Ten Commandments and Bible verses instilled deep within all of us. I remember one of his favorite commandments was Ephesians 6, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” He would teach us to do good deeds and only to let God know about our deeds and not to tell anyone. We heard many stories over the years, where Dad was an angel in many ways on earth.
One example: When we were growing up, Daddy would disappear for a few hours on Saturday. When Fonda and I would ask him where he was going, can we go with you? He would respond he couldn’t tell us it was between him and God. We would hound him and beg. We would question, “Well, why Daddy, we would ask again begging. He finally relented, as he didn’t want to reject us. When he answered, he quoted us a Bible verse, Matthew 6:1; Take care not to do your good works before men, to be seen by them; or you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. We didn’t fully understand at the time, but I later learned as an adult, from a Nursing Home Director that Dad would visit nursing homes every Saturday for a few hours. She told me Dad walked up to the front office, and asked, “What person has no one to visit them here?” She said she gave him a list of those elderly who had no one and Dad visited them. He would take hand lotion and other items for the men and women and sit reading them the Bible and did for years until he could not drive anymore. In the nursing home, Dad would also comfort the ladies holding their baby dolls, representative of their children they had raised. Family members thanked us for Angel Clifford.
Another example: Dad in the VA would hear Veterans crying loud and for long periods of times. Many of them had their legs blown off, or maimed; they could not move and were dependent on a nurse. When he didn’t’ see anyone go comfort them, he would go comfort them, pat their feet and talk to them in a soothing voice. “He could be heard, saying, “You are not alone, God is here and I am here and pat them.” The nurses told us Dad was an angel.
Many of you know Dad had a nickname, lovingly given him “Rooster.”
When we kids were growing up, on school mornings, and Dad wanted to rouse us out of bed, he was our “real life” alarm clock. He would stick his head in our rooms and crow real loud like a rooster. Sometimes we kids would groan, roll-over
and crow back but some weekends when you wanted to sleep in it was annoying! Later, when Fonda and I would be home from college, he would crow at 4 a.m. and turn on WEKR, (up loud), and when we would say, “Dad, please it is 4 a.m. we want to sleep,” he would smile that precious smile, and say, “I missed you get up spend time with me.” Dad crowed to the grandkids if they were crying, and they would stop crying with little tears on their faces, smile and crow back.
Dad’s rooster crowing became so special and meaningful during the times Mom and Dad were separated, due to their illnesses. When Dad and Mom couldn’t crow anymore, it became a way we could still reach them to reassure them a family member was there, close by their side. Several times a week, I would call Mom and Dad to do a three way conference call from California. When Dad first came on the phone, I would crow, Dad would crow back, then Mom would crow, as it was our way of first saying hello and we had such fun laughing!. At the beginning and end of all conversations, we would end, in “I love you,” crow again and each of us would laugh! (I recorded these conversations, they are a treasure). When Dad lost part of his ability to speak, he would respond to whoever crowed. He would open his eyes. It was a sad day when Daddy didn’t crow anymore, but if any of the grandkids, Fonda, Larry or me crowed, he would respond with an audible sound. A day before Dad passed I spoke on Facetime with Dad and Fonda. I crowed and he made an audible sound back, but could not crow. I planned on crowing when I arrived there at Daddy one last time.
When Dad became very ill and Mother, many times, I would fly home for a month, to assist Fonda who did a herculean job with our parents, sacrificing loss of health and income, taking medical leaves from her job. She never complained. Sis I give you my heartfelt gratitude for the losses you incurred for the extreme dedication you incurred out of love to our parents. Fonda labored nonstop to help our parents, and there is no way I can ever repay her. From the oncologists, the regimen of meds, appointments, hospital stays, skill care in home, the cancer treatment of Mom and oncology for Dad, meds she would give, she never complained. Fonda with a heart of gold and would respond to me, “that the richness she gained from helping our beloved parents was worth it.” She has the heart of a servant. Fonda was there on the end making sure Dad felt loved as he left the world.
In those many months, Dad would be hospitalized with recurring pneumonia and other serious illnesses, Fonda and I experienced his life-threatening moments with our father , which we were so happy to be there to comfort him; and so, there is some evidence that even in the most arduous of times, beauty can be found. And we learned so much about our dad. And about how others felt about our dad. The nurses and physicians at St Thomas were outstanding, dedicated, and loved Dad. When he passed from great suffering, one nurse wept openly in front of Fonda.
In one of his hospital stays, one of the funniest moments for Dad and Fonda occurred: She had walked into the hospital and it was raining, she did not have an umbrella. When Daddy saw how bad her hair looked, he really laughed, both laughed a long time, a very precious memory. When Dad was suffering a few days ago, Fonda walked in seeing him suffering and screamed for the nurses to help him. Dad opened his eyes to look at her and knew she was there fighting for him.
Rev. Charles Stanley preaches that the minute a Christian’s eyes close on earth, they immediately open in heaven in the presence of Jesus. How comforting to know Dad looked Jesus in the eyes!
Fonda, thank you for the six years of tremendous love, your sacrifices that you joyfully gave up, and for being with Dad to make sure he felt loved as he left the world . I am so appreciative and so appreciative to each of you in attendance today to honor Dad by your presence. Daddy is smiling to thank each of you high in the heavens. I hope that in honoring him today with all of you, by telling you a few stories – some happy and sweet, some funny, some devastating-celebrating him and his journey and allowing my dad to live through me, family members, and through all of you. Our Godly Father was faithful to God and trusted God with his whole heart, and believed in His promises. It is comforting to know that our Dad achieved his goal to get to heaven, and is in the presence of Jesus, the angels; other loved ones and other Saints. God bless each of you, and thank you again for the honor of your presence to celebrate his life.
Love and blessings to all,
Wanda Askins Cavaliere
My deepest sympathy to the Adkins family.The bible makes this comforting promise,”God is close to the brokenhearted;He saves those who are crushed in spirit.”(Psalms 34:18)
Psalms 116:15 states that, “PRECIOUS IN THE SITE OF THE LORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS SAINTS”….may you be comforted at this time. My prayers are with you all. God bless!!
Please know that I share in the sorrow of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Larry, So sorry for your loss. Your father was a kind and gentle man. My prayers are with you and your sisters.
Larry, Fonda, and Wanda,
Sherryl and I are saddened by your loss. As a kid in Fulton Addition, I admired him for his kindness toward “us kids” in the neighborhood. As an adult, I cherished those “magic moments” when we encountered each other in the Wal-Mart. He was always cheerful, uplifting, and full of humorous stories of yesteryear and gleefully reported as to what each of you were doing at the time.
I loved and will always cherished those golden chance meeting I had with truly a “giant among men,” your Dad.
May God bless all of you with His comfort during this time of sorrow.
I am truly honored to get to say that this man is my Popaw. Not only has he impacted my life greatly and shaped me into the woman I am today with his values but Nannie Momma did also. He was a gentle giant. I grew up watching Wrestling and Western shows with him. I loved going to the farm with him everytime I came for a visit. I loved when he told stories to me about his childhood, his children, and when he was in the Military. Nannie Momma and Popaw are now together again. I will forever love them.
Mr. Askins was a wonderful man and we loved him dearly. I regret that I will be out of town and won’t be here to pay my respects but my prayers are with the family.
We are so sorry for your loss and you all will be in our thoughts and prayers! It was always good to see him and talk with him!
I am so sorry for your loss. I know he will be missed. Prayers for you all
We send our sympathy to each of you.
Heaven has gained one of the best. A man loved by many and missed by all. My prayers are with all of you. I love my twins.
To the Family,
I remember fondly how very kind your father was to my son, Brian who stayed at the daycare for several years. He was loved by all who came in contact with him.
So sorry for your loss! I was in smiling faces daycare from 6 weeks until I started school. Paw paw will be greatly missed but rest assured he is with God and the love of his life Nanny Askins. So sorry we can’t be there Fonda Baker but know we are praying for you and praying for peace for the entire family! Love and miss y’all, Stephanie (Kidd) Furuya
I remember your father as a Man if God . My father was Clifford Maylon Honea. He was Good friends with your Dad back in the day. My family also went to First Babtist Church. Your Father left a good legacy to be proud of. He left me and countless others with Good memories of service to God and to be a wanting servant . He will be surely missed by his church, and all he has touched through the years. Time for this Warrior to Go Home and be with his Father. Amen. It has been my pleasure knowing your father.
A nicer, more caring man I have never met. He always was smiling and one of the things I remember the most was him always saying: “We’ll treat you so many ways that you are sure to like some of them”. Still brings smiles – I’ll miss you Uncle Cliff.
With heartfelt sympathies to Larry, Fonda, Wanda and the family in the loss of your sweet dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. “Nanny Mama” and “Paw Paw” are together again.
So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers are with your entire family.
A wonderful, loving man, who will be greatly missed. Sympathy to the family from the Ables & Edwards families.