Thomas Wallace Ashton, 84, of Mechanicsville, Md., died Sept. 20, 2011, at his home on Kavanagh Road in Oakville after a long battle with cancer.
Wallace, as he was affectionately known, was born on Feb. 4, 1927, in Helen, MD, to Catherine Dyson Ashton and Thomas Ashton, Sr. Wallace was a life-long resident of St. Mary's County. He attended St. Joseph's Colored School where he met the lovely Mary Catherine Chase of Leonardtown. Wallace and Mary Catherine were married on October 26, 1946. From this union were born nine children.
Wallace was a faithful member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Morganza and St. Joseph's Community Center in Oakville.
Wallace worked a variety of occupations over the years, including working for the Maryland State Roads Commission and as a construction laborer on projects in Washington, D.C., Rockville, MD., and in Largo, Md., where he helped construct the Capital Center, which was the one-time home of the Washington Bullets/Wizards. Years later, he began working for the St. Mary's County Board of Education as a maintenance and custodial employee, working at Margaret Brent Middle School and at Oakville Elementary.
However, Wallace's true avocation was gardening and farming. Every year, family, friends and neighbors could count on receiving the fruits of his labor: corn, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, melons, onions, and collard greens. Folks asked a year in advance for his beloved sweet potatoes. Wallace also loved wearing his array of Dallas Cowboy hats, sweaters and coats, while teasing Redskin fans about their team.
Wallace is survived by three daughters, Delores A. (James) Thomas of Mechanicsville, Clarissa A. Stripling (Cornelius) of California, Md., and Angela C. Ashton-Caudle of Mechanicsville; four sons, Bernard E. (Irene) of Houston, Texas, Matthew R. (Agnes) of Waldorf, Jerome C. (Vandana) of Rockville, and Roy A. (Wanda) of Great Mills. He is also survived by one sister, Sarah (nicknamed Polly) Milburn of Norfolk, Va., two brothers, James of Baltimore, and Phillip of Leonardtown and a host of grandchildren, family and friends.
Visitation Monday, September 26, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Morganza, MD. Interment will follow at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery.
An online guestbook is available at Briscoe-Tonic Funeral Home at www.briscoe-tonicfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Joseph Community Center 40610 Kavanagh Road Mechanicsville, MD 20659