Harold Askew, 64

William “Harold” Askew, age 64 of English, died on Friday, November 4, 2011 in Select Specialty Hospital of Carrollton following complications from a surgical procedure.  He was born in Dekalb on August 19, 1947, the son of Ewell and Margaret Ward Askew.  Harold graduated from DeKalb High School in 1965 and attended Texarkana Community College.

Harold grew up fishing on the Red River with his family and friends.  He loved to fish for catfish, but later perfected the art of fly fishing and changed his love for fishing for catfish to fly fishing for trout and bass with his brother, Jim.  He tied his own flies, and taught a fly fishing course at the Women of the Outdoors event in Clarksville each year.

Harold received his Commercial Pilots License in 1969, and enjoyed many years of flying his own airplane and was often hired by farmers to fly over their fields and frighten the birds away.  From the 1980’s to early 90’s he was on the Fire Patrol for the State of Texas and Oklahoma Forestry Service with his friend Danny Halley.  Harold invented and produced the first Global Positioning System that the Oklahoma Forestry System was ever used.  This was something Harold invented on his own and the Forestry system may still use it today along with the new GPS electronic systems.At the time of his death, he was  currently serving as secretary on the Red River County Airport Board.

Harold was most “famous” for his photography.  In the 70’s he took abstract pictures, pictures of people in the area just “living life”, and landscapes.  He used a view camera and SRL to take black and white and color photos.  You can still see his photographs hanging in many homes in this area today.

Harold was known by many as N5QOI.  This was his Ham Radio call sign.  He enjoyed many years of talking on the radio, and made many friends along the way.  He hosted the Nashoba Net on Thursday nights by way of the KM5VK repeater for several years.  He was a member of the Wednesday Night Net, The Trail Draggers Net, and was a member of The Honobia Big Foot Club.

Harold retired from the state, The Texas Department of Human Services in 2004.

He is survived by his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, Ashley, Mike and Savannah Pickering of Paris; ex-wife and close friend, Paula Askew of Paris; brother, James [Jim] F. Askew and wife, Molly Browning of Austin; nephew, James M. Askew, his wife Wendy and their sons, James. M. Askew, Jr.  Austin W.Askew and Sam H. Askew; nieces, Merideth Roddy and husband, Tedd  and her children, Joe Seth Roddy and Georgia Bell Roddy;  and Rachel Muir and husband, Mark Ronquist and her children, Luke Gronquist and Scarlett Gronquist, great-nephew, Seth Blackwell; special cousins, Rita Barnes and Tom Ward, both of DeKalb; many other cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a niece, Heather Blackwell

A Memorial Service Celebrating His life will be held at 2:00 on November 12, 2011, on the Red River at Chili Flats, 2468 CR 3302, DeKalb, TX.   Wood Funeral Homes have charge of the arrangements.  Online condolences may be sent to www.woodfuneralhomes.com.   Donations can be made for the maintenance and upkeep of the Nashoba repeater.  Please mail donations to:  Danny Allen, HC 68 Box 217, Nashoba OK, 74558

  1. Danny Allen (KM5VK) says:

    Harold will be missed. He took the time to run a weekly ham radio net where a lot of hams checked in and just visited. Harold was good to make every one laugh. He run the 145.290 repeater net for approximately 5 years. Harold may God be with you. Km5vk

  2. Wendy says:


    Very sorry for your loss. I wish I knew the words that could comfort you during this difficult time; however, there are no such words! My heart breaks for you! This is a very difficult time and my only advice is
    Just the power of prayer, it truly helped me! I will be thinking and praying for you and your family.

    Wendy (Butler) Faulkner & family

  3. Eliza Cunningham says:

    Uncle Harold was always “Daddy” to my closest cousin Ashley, who has been like a sister to me my whole life. I will never forget gathering around the warm black stove in the kitchen, or peeking into his darkroom for glimpses of his newest beautiful photographs. One of the family’s most cherished portraits of Ashley and me was taken by Harold.
    Harold’s many diverse interests encouraged me to take risks and try new things in my life, and for that I thank him. My heart hurts for dear Savannah Kate, who did not get to spend enough time with her grandfather, but we are all grateful that they did get some good visits in before he went into the hospital.
    We will all miss him, but I hope he can rest comfortably now, knowing that his most beloved family members will be well taken care of during this most difficult time.

  4. Ronnie A. Nutt says:

    Prayers go out to the family of Harold Askew. He was one of the most dependable and sincere staff members I ever worked with at TDHS. A good man, a good heart and thought deeply before he acted. May God give special blessings to this family during this time of loss and mourning.
    Ronnie A. Nutt

  5. Kristi Young says:

    Ashley, Michael, Savannah and Paula,

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your dad. I know you will miss him tremendously. I pray Jesus gives you peace during this time.


  6. Harold and Mildred Bird says:

    Ashley & Famely

    Our prayers go out to the family of Harold. He will be missed by all of us, he was one of our closest personal friends. We talked with Harold almost daily either in person or on the Ham Radio.
    God Bless you and your family.
    Our Love Harold and Mildred

  7. frank mccollough says:

    Harold, we miss you so much.
    Forever & Always 73’s

    Frank Mccollough

  8. Love Yvonne says:

    I first knew Harold as a dashing, handsome young pilot who flew prop planes, chasing birds from farmer’s fields. Scary business, but he seemed to thrive on it.

    He was such a proud dad when he and Paula had Ashley.

    When he took up photography, he demonstrated a sensitive and artistic eye. His portraits are treasured by many, and his landscapes and other scenes are magical. He gave me one I have in a place of honor—snow-covered wagon wheels leaning against a wooden wall. Harold worked in both color and black-and-white. His creativity even extended to naming their black-and-white puppy Ansel, for Ansel Adams, one of his heroes in photography.

    Harold was a generous person, but he wasn’t the type to brag about doing things for people. He must have spent many hours and much money fixing enough fried chicken to feed the entire community after the funeral of Bryant Grant, his uncle-in-law. But nobody knew he had done it, except for close family.

    Ashley has inherited his creativity, which she expresses via theater and teaching. She and Mike have his only grandchild, the adorable Savannah, who so brightened his life.

    Love and prayers for Ashley, Mike, Savannah, Paula, and all of Harold’s family and friends.

  9. Barbara Baker Motley says:

    I know Harold because of his former wife (but still great friend), Paula. Paula and I were born on the same day, which wouldn’t be odd except that Paula’s family lived just a stone’s throw from where my Mother grew up. This was a wonderful country community where Paula, cousin/best friend Jonathan and I ran the countryside from morning to evening, acting either young or adult-like whichever the mood struck us. We must have staged five years of summer productions of The King and I, with each of us playing/singing various roles…which must have been a little painful for the audience. Paula married Harold young, which I thought at the time was very exotic. Harold was rather exotic himself from the very beginning. A true loner and adventurous creative soul. I think it must have been difficult to sustain the family-man role, but his daughter’s love for him and Paula’s loyal friendship are testament to his value and underlying qualities. I haven’t seen much of Harold in the last few years, but he leaves a void so individual that it will likely stay empty. I wish a peaceful ceremony by the River and happy memories for his family, Paula, Ashley, Savannah, Mike and others unknown to me. (May there be a camera lens where you are headed….) Cousins in Law, Barb and Biff

  10. Claudia Martin Grams says:

    I remember Harold as a classmate at DeKalb. We went through our school years together. Harold was always a quiet person and one who was always thoughtful of others. He was one of the good guys in our 1965 graduating class. My prayers are for his loved ones left behind and to all of the Angels and Saints to pray for his soul and for his family and friends grief dealing with his loss of life. He is remembered by many by his works and thought for others. Is there a better memory a person could leave or a better example for each of us? After reading notes from his family and friends, I have been able to understand that he continued to be a kind and thoughtful person all of his life. May God have mercy on his soul.

  11. David Grigg says:

    Harold was a fine man and great person and we will all miss him.
    73 Harold
    David Grigg

  12. Pati Griffith says:

    Dear Ashley and family,

    I am so very sorry about your losing your dad. I followed the unfolding of such bad news for the past few weeks and thought of you often. I knew Harold only slightly but what a talented person he must have been, like my dear brother-in law and his cousin Rita. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there tomorrow to share his memorial with you all. I hope the day will be beautiful and the memories comforting to you all.

    With sincerest sympathy,

    Pati Griffith

  13. Fran says:

    I fought with him for about 17 years and enjoyed almost every minute of it(at DHS). He made me redo many e-mails due to incorrect spelling of words and, even now, feel he may be checking my spelling. He was part of our work family and we will all miss him. He was just too young to leave have ended his journey of life.

    I was honored to have known him.


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