Memorial services for Thomas Michael Ashwood will be held Friday, June 1, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church with Rev. David Orr and Rev. Claire Caldwell officiating. Pallbearers are Cleve McDonald, Randy Camardese, Blake Weiler, Danny Stouffer, Buddy Coleman, Johnny Williams and Billy Dooly. Private family inurnment will take place at the First United Methodist Church Columbarium and Memorial Garden under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home prior to the service.
Tom was born November 29, 1952, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the son of Thomas Lee and Bettye Ballou Ashwood He died in Ft. Smith May 29, 2012, following a brief but valiant effort against cancer.
He attended Muskogee Public Schools and was a 1971 graduate of Muskogee Central High School as a member of the National Honor Society, Boys' State, and a football letterman. At the University of Oklahoma he was a member of Delta Tau Delta, intramural sports, and the Dean's Honor Roll. Upon graduation in 1975 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in finance, he married the former Nancy Shanks of Enid, Oklahoma.
Always personable and outgoing, with his red hair an broad smile, Tom was a natural for sales. He began a career as a representative and computer programmer for Burroughs Corporation when computers required an entire, temperature-controlled room. Tom was also a sales representative for Mead Corporation and Ther-a-Pedic prior to becoming a financial advisor for A.G. Edwards and Sons (now Wells Fargo Advisors) in April 1989.
A lifelong Methodist, Tom was an active member of First United Methodist Church, teaching adult Sunday School classes and Disciple Bible Study classes; was a member of the Friends Sunday School class, served as a Lay Reader, was chairman of Christian Learning Council and was to have been chairman of the Administrative Board in 2013. As a civic and community leader, he was a member and past president of Fort Smith Downtown Optimist Club; past governor of the Arkansas District Optimist Club International; past president of the Board of Advisory Trustees of Sparks Regional Medical Center, Abilities Unlimited, and Girls' Shelter of Ft. Smith. He was fond of golf, New Orleans, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Sooners, the Cooking Channel, and most of all, family and friends. Tom often remarked that the most important things in this life are the relationships you form.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy, of the home; a son, Brian, of Ft. Smith; a daughter, Dr. Amy Falck and husband, Dr. Cameron Falck, of Hot Springs; a brother, Albert and wife Hon. Cynthia Ferrell Ashwood of Chandler, Oklahoma; a sister, Jane Riddle and husband, Frank, of Muskogee; Aunt Mary Wozniak and Uncle Jack Ashwood, both of Muskogee; and many beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Following the service the family will receive friends in the First United Methodist Church Narthex.
Memorial gifts may be made to First United Methodist Church Foundation, 200 North 15th Street, Ft. Smith, AR 72901, or the Girls' Shelter, 2600 Raleigh St., Ft. Smith, AR 72901.
Online condolences may be sent to www.edwardsfuneralhome.com