Philip Virgil Dashiell

September 28, 1928April 1, 2014

Colonel Philip V. Dashiell (Retired, USA) of Odenton, MD was called to eternal rest on April 1, 2014, at age 85. A lifelong Maryland resident, he lived in Salisbury, Fruitland, Severn, and Glen Burnie for many years. Upon his death, he resided in Odenton, MD.

He was the son of the late Otto and Rebecca (Toadvine) Dashiell of Fruitland, MD and the brother of the late Private Allen Dashiell of Fruitland, MD who was killed in action in the Korean Conflict. Philip acted as special escort accompanying his brother’s body back for interment in the United States.

Born in Salisbury, MD, Colonel Dashiell grew up in Fruitland, MD and completed elementary and secondary school in the area. He graduated from Salisbury Colored High School in 1944 and attended Hampton Institute (now University) in Virginia. He graduated in the upper third of his class with a B.S. degree in Architectural Engineering. He also received a commission as a Second Lieutenant from the Reserve Officers Training Course (R.O.T.C.), the first graduating class at the school. He was a distinguished military graduate.

Colonel Philip V. Dashiell’s combined military and federal service career spans from May 1948 to September 1988, from the time of receipt of his commission, until his retirement. He is both a retired military officer and retired federal employee. During his military career, he served in leadership roles from Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Executive Officer, and Battalion Commander. He was one of the first African American officers assigned as commander of a predominately white unit after President Truman’s executive order to fully integrate the armed forces. He has served as a Chief of Staff on a General Officer’s Headquarters staff. Colonel Philip V. Dashiell completed the following military training and courses during his distinguished military service: AA & Guided Missile School – Ft. Bliss, TX, Airborne and Air Transportability School – Ft. Benning, GA, The Artillery School – Ft. Sill, OK, CBR School – Camp Gifu, Japan, Command and General Staff College – Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Transportation School – Ft. Eustas, VA, and the Chemical School – Ft. McClellan, AL. His foreign tour of duty service included Japan, Korea, Belgium, and Germany. His awards, citations, ribbons, and medals include the following: National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Glider Badge, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, Parachute Badge, Occupational Medal (Japan), Army Commendation for Outstanding Medal for Meritorious Service.

Along with a long and distinguished career of military service, he served in the following civilian capacities. Chief of Logistics, U.S Army Recruiting Brigade (NE), the first African American to work for the United Insurance Company in the Salisbury, MD area, Executive Director of the Wicomico County Housing Authority, in which over 400 housing units were established. He was instrumental in initiating the Home Ownership Program of the leased housing program formerly known as section 23 (now known as section 8). He left the Housing Authority to return to active duty in 1975 and remained on duty at Ft. Meade, MD until his retirement in 1988. During his lifetime, he has also been employed in the following capacities: as an illustrator in the intelligence section at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD, as a draftsman with Westinghouse, Linthicum, MD, and as a postal carrier in Baltimore City, MD.

Always active within his community, Colonel Philip V. Dashiell held positions at various times with the following civic organizations: Vice President of the Wicomico County N.A.A.C.P., Senior Chairman N.C.C.J., Industrial Representative BSA, Chairman of the Steering Committee, Salisbury, MD O.I.C., Chairman of the Board Salisbury, MD O.I.C., Assistant Secretary of Section 23 Leased Housing Association, President of the Wicomico Chapter N.C.C.J., Member of the Board of Directors of the Advisory Council to the Boy’s Club of the Salvation Army, Salisbury, MD, President Jessup Elementary P.T.A., Chairman of Provinces Civic Association blood drive for over 10 years, Director At Large Provinces Civic Association, Member of Superintendent’s Advisory Council of Anne Arundel County, Anne Arundel County Committee on Redistricting of Schools, Lifetime member of V.F.W. Post 10159, member of the American Legion Post #0297, National Association of Uniformed Services, Military Order of the World Wars, and A.A.R.P. In 1987 he received a special Service Award from the Provinces Civic Association. He was a member of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover, MD, involved actively in the following church committees: Former Chairman of Pastor Staff Parish Relations Ministry, Chairman and Co-Chairman of annual Men’s Day, member of the Bertina Randle Gospel Ensemble Men’s Chorus, received Man of the Year award, a participant in Make A Difference day, Mission Ministry Committee, RESPECT Committee, Share Program, and also worked as a volunteer with the Reading Program at Harman’s Elementary School.

In his down-time, he enjoyed singing, dancing, traveling, playing golf, and fellowship among friends. He respected and loved everyone. He and his late Wife, Effie Dashiell, enjoyed cruises, and enjoyed traveling to the following destinations: The Caribbean (St. Maarten & St. Thomas), San Juan – Puerto Rico, Nassau – Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska (Skagway & Juneau), Cancun and Cozumel in Mexico, and enjoyed vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard.

Preceded in death by his late Wife Effie Upshur Dashiell, Mother Rebecca Dashiell, Father Otto Dashiell, and Brother Allen Dashiell, Colonel Philip V. Dashiell leaves to cherish his wonderful memory four children: Charles Frederick Dashiell of Macon, GA, Danita Clarice Dashiell of Odenton, MD, Philip Slemon Dashiell of Stoney Beach, MD, and Anita Dashiell-Sparks of Los Angeles, CA; three granddaughters: Danesha Ellis of Odenton, MD, Olivia Pearl Sparks of Los Angeles, CA, and Paige Dashiell of Stoney Beach, MD; two grandsons: Langston Sparks and Dashiell Sparks of Los Angeles, CA; one son-in-law Anthony Sparks of Los Angeles, CA; two daughters-in-law Moneshia Dashiell of Macon, GA, and Ronn’I C. Allen of Stoney Beach, MD; one niece, Rebecca D. Dashiell of Fruitland, MD; one nephew, Douglas Dashiell of Salisbury, MD, seven Sisters-in-law: Veetta Rainey of Newport News, VA, Ella Stanley of Radcliff, KY, Cozelle Jones of Hampton, VA, Connie Christian of Richmond, VA, Paulette Hamilton of Upper Marlboro, MD, Adelta Upshur of New York, NY, and Kay Upshur of Hawaii; five Brothers-in-law: James Upshur of New York, NY, Raleigh Upshur of Hawaii, Nathaniel Stanley of Radcliff, KY, Ralph Christian of Richmond, VA, and John Hamilton of Upper Marlboro, MD, and a host of cousins and friends.

We thank God for blessing us with a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather who is at rest and in peace with our heavenly father. His cheerful smile, radiant personality, and loving presence will always be with us in memory and in our hearts.

Memorial services will be at St. Mark United Methodist Church, 1440 Dorsey Road, Hanover, MD on Monday, April 14, 2014. The wake will be held from 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM, with funeral services to begin at 11:00 AM. Interment will follow funeral services at Maryland Veterans Cemetery, 1122 Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, MD at 1:00 PM. Arrangements being handled by the Witzke Funeral Home, Inc., 5555 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045.


  • Visitation Monday, April 14, 2014
  • Funeral Service Monday, April 14, 2014

Philip Virgil Dashiell

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Jose' Cruz Sr.

April 15, 2014

Dashiell Family; I pray that God blesses you even more now than ever before, being that you have not just one angel, but two angels looking down upon you all and saying to each other "Well Done". I am honored to have known him and you're mother Ms Effie, for the time that I did in my youth.
God bless you all and may God continue to keep you!

Tara & Nathan Lowery

April 14, 2014

To Danita & Danesha, Our deepest sympathies to you and the entire Dashiell family. We pray that our Savior brings you comfort at this most difficult time.

April 13, 2014

The family of Viola Birckhead Robinson sends love to the family of Cousin Philip. He was loved and cherish by all family members. He will be missed by everyone. We are so blessed to have had Philip in our lives.

Vanessa Bell Calloway

April 11, 2014

Anita and family, the Letters From Zora crew send you love and light! Anita we can tell what an outstanding man your father was because he raised you!
Our deepest sympathy and our sincere good wishes goes out to you and your family.
Vanessa Bell Calloway

Raleigh Upshur

April 10, 2014

To All,
Sorry we are not able to attend your father's funeral. Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. We will miss Philip very much. When reason fails, pray for peace. We will be praying with you. Our warmest condolences.
"With Love"
Uncle Raleigh Upshur & family
Mililani, Hawaii

Lorraine Purnell-Ayres

April 9, 2014

Dear Family:

I did not know your father or family. I write to thank you and your father for his willingness to serve that we might be free. I realize he has instilled in you the same desire for as he served you too made many sacrafices yet were exposed to so much, learning how can we make this world a better place. May God continue to strengthen, comfort, bless and keep you at this time and always.
Thank you,
Lorraine Purnell-Ayres

April 9, 2014

To the Dashiell family, It was a pleasure to no such a distinguish gentlemen. It was a pleasure to be around him, he will be missed. May god bring his angel's around the family to comfort them in their time of mourning.

John Barnes (Mitchellville, Md)

Cassandra Compton

April 8, 2014

I will always remember his warm smile and caring nature. As a young teller beginning my career in banking Mr. Dashiell became one of my most favorite customers. 20+ years later I still remember him and speak about him often. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. May you cherish all your beautiful memories of him and may they bring smiles to your days despite the pain of his loss.

Isaac Fiagbe

April 7, 2014

I just want to say how very sorry I am for your recent loss of your father. I know that this is a sad and difficult time for you.
At times like this our faith serves us well. We can take solace in knowing that your dad has gone to his eternal rest. He lived a faith-filled and upright life and he will be remembered for all the good that he did in his lifetime.
I ask that God bestow His choicest blessings on you and your wonderful family. May your faith give you the strength to carry on.

Donna Marshall Downing

April 7, 2014

To the Dashiell Family:
Your father was such a kind, gentle soul. His legacy lives on through each of you. Heartfelt condolences and prayers of peace are sent to you in your time of mourning.