Thomas Ashcraft

August 19, 1926November 1, 2011

Thomas Lee Ashcraft, 85, of Fort Smith, died November 1, 2011 in Fort Smith. He was born August 19, 1926, in Sheridan, Arkansas, to Ida Mathews and Henry H. Ashcraft. He grew up in Malvern, Arkansas.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, then graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 1949, with a degree in chemistry. Mr. Ashcraft joined the Pine Bluff Arsenal in 1949 and worked there for 33 years. He was Chief of the Laboratory Division at the Arsenal, then Chief of Technical Plans and Evaluation Division. In 1969 he became Director of Product Assurance, and retired from that position in 1982.

Mr. Ashcraft was a long-time resident of White Hall, Arkansas, from 1960 until 2008. He served as deacon and Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church, White Hall, during those years. After his retirement from the Department of Defense in 1982, he was elected mayor of White Hall and served in that position for 8 years. He also worked in the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal Program and was director of the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Services from 1992 until 1997. After moving to Fort Smith, Mr. Ashcraft was an active member of South Side Baptist Church.

Mr. Ashcraft served on the White Hall School Board, the Ouachita Baptist University Board of Trustees, the Jefferson County Board of Education and the Jefferson County Library Board. He was a member of the American Chemical Society.

He was listed in American Men and Women of Science and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest. He received several outstanding performance awards, including Federal Employee of the Year for Arkansas and the Army Certificate of Meritorious Civilian Service.

He is survived by his wife for almost 63 years, Bea; two sisters, Sammie Pickard of Albuquerque and Shirley Pike, also of Albuquerque; two daughters, Ginger Terry and husband Rex of Fort Smith; Dr. Cynthia Ashcraft of Fort Smith; one son, Dr. Richard Ashcraft and wife Jan of Tulsa, Oklahoma; 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

Memorial service will be Friday, November 4, 2011 at 2:00 PM in the Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will be private in the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith. Services and cremation are under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home.

The family will greet friends in Edwards Chapel following the Memorial Service.

Memorials may be made to the Good Samaritan Clinic 615 North “B” Fort Smith, AR 72901 or South Side Baptist Church 2400 Dodson Ave Fort Smith, AR 72901.

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  • Memorial Service Friday, November 4, 2011


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Thomas Ashcraft

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Carl & Peggy Koen

November 17, 2011

The Koen family has many memories of Tom Ashcraft. He was such a kind and caring man. We love him and the whole family, and will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

Freda Rasor Pennington, Tracy and Jay

November 10, 2011

Having known the Ashcraft family since my childhood years, I have always had great admiration for Tom Ashcraft. My fondest memory was attending his bible study class, as a teenager, at Lee Memorial Baptist Church. His teachings were an inspiration to all who knew him. He will always be remembered by our family and our hearts will always hold a special place for Ms. Bea and his children.

Rick Joslin

November 9, 2011

Tom generated confidence with his leadership abilities as a Pine Bluff Arsenal administrator, Jefferson County Office of Emergency Services coordinator and White Hall's mayor. He lived his Christian principles in all aspects of his life. As mayor, it was obvious that he put the city ahead of himself, unselfishly leaving office before qualifying for retirement benefits, saying he would prefer those funds to instead be directed to community improvements. He never missed an opportunity to boast about Bea and their family's many accomplishments. He was a true friend, and service to others is his legacy.

James McFarlane

November 7, 2011

We are very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. May your memories comfort you in this time of sorrow.
James & Sarah McFarlane

November 6, 2011

Our sincere condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man. You will be in our prayers.

Charles and Louise Holmes, Judy Holmes Brooks

Sharon Taylor

November 6, 2011

Mr.Ashcraft was greatly admired and loved by so many people..I have so many memories of the kindness and love he gave to his family and friends over the years...I am deeply saddened to hear of his death..Words cannot express the great respect and love my family has for Mr. Ashcraft and his family. Our prayers are constantly with you...May God always keep you in the palm of His hand..

Gladys Clark

November 5, 2011

Bea, I was so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. You are certainly in my thoughts and prayers. I will hold my emails until you feel like viewing them again. Take care of yourself. Love, Gladys Clark

November 4, 2011

Such a fine many of my fondest childhood memories involve the Ashcraft family. Please know my thoughts and prayers and those of my folks are with you all. Alan Holmes

Lola & Bill Funderburg

November 4, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Tom was such a dear friend and we loved him so much. You will be much in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead Bea.
Lola and Bill

Karen Quarles

November 4, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Ashcraft's family. He was such a wonderful man to work for at Jefferson County OES and a great mentor. He loved Ms. Bea so much and often told us their love story. He also loved to tell us about his grandchildren. He was so proud of them!