James S. Askins, 79

-SEPT. 6, 2011

September 08, 2011
  • Askins

James Stanley Askins, 79, of Wells Tannery, Pa., died Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 at Fulton County Medical Center, Shimer Trail, in McConnellsburg, Pa., following a lengthy illness from cancer.

Mr. Askins (Jim) was born in Roscoe, Pa., one of 10 children of the late William Clair and Agnes Sloan Askins.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Griffith Askins of Wells Tannery; son, Glen R. Askins of Charles City, Va.; daughter, Lori D. Vento of Chicago, Ill.; son-in-law, Jonathon J. Vento; daughter-in law, Stephanie A. Askins; two grandchildren, Kara D. Wilson and Kylie E. Vento; and two great-grandchildren, Kameron I. Dunn and Richard Rhys Wilson. He also is survived by eight brothers and sisters, William "Pete" Askins,  Arthur "Dude" Askins, Edwinna Thompson, Bart Askins, Mary Jane Rice, Raymond Askins, Don Askins and Agnes Atkins. He also is survived by and will be missed by many, many nieces and nephews.

A sister, Patty Jo Lawson, preceded him in death.

He served in the U.S. Marines during the Korean War, and was a recipient of numerous commendations.

He retired from U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service in 1988. During his 26-year career, he had many accomplishments. Most notably, in 1977, he established and became chief of the Williamsport Preservation Training Center in Williamsport, Md. The center was designed and provided a comprehensive hands-on craft training program for cultural resource and maintenance service personnel in the conservation/preservation of historic structures throughout the Department of the Interior.

Under his leadership, major preservation/restoration projects were completed at Grand Canyon, Harpers Ferry, Olympic, Cape Hatteras, Antietam National Battlefield, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Gettysburg and Yellowstone, to mention only a few. In 1988, as a result of his leadership and historic preservation talents, he was selected to represent the National Park Service in India on the Taj Mahal National Cultural Park Project. He was an active participant as part of a binational planning team from the United States and India to preserve this important cultural symbol of India.

Today, the Preservation Trades Network Association recognizes Jim with an annual award (Askins Achievement Award) to an outstanding individual for extraordinary contributions in the preservation trades.

Jim was a loving husband and father. He and Janet would have celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary on Sept. 14. After retirement, they moved to Wells Tannery, where they enjoyed traveling, hunting and fishing.

A memorial service will be Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Knobsville United Methodist Church, 11146 Waterfall Road, McConnellsburg, PA 17233, with Pastor Ken Grundon officiating. There will be a time of fellowship following the service.  

To honor Jim's memory, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Fulton County Medical Center Foundation, 214 Peach Orchard Road, McConnellsburg, PA 17233, for the outstanding care and service he received while a patient, and more recently as a resident in the long-term care unit.  

Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home Inc. will be handling the services. Online condolences may be expressed at

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