Obituaries » Tommy J. 'TJ' Askins
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May 19, 1944 - April 29, 2019
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Our Beloved Tommy J. “TJ” Askins, 74, of Elida, OH passed away into the arms of Jesus on April 29, 2019 surrounded by family.
He was born in Lima, Ohio May 19, 1944. TJ graduated from Lima Senior High School class of 1963. He was married to the love of his life Marilyn L (Walter) Askins, for over 41 years.
Growing up with his mom and sister he discovered his ability to cultivate friendships and business opportunities, while moving from house to house. He would take on additional jobs to both help the family and save for his future big ideas, which included buying a house for his mother so she would not have to move anymore. This helped to establish his values of putting family first in his decision making process.
He loved to talk about his Aunt Mary’s good baking, and it was not a secret that Tommy was her favorite. This early love of food remained with him throughout his life and was the start of his lifelong love – pizza.
TJ worked several jobs after graduating high school, however he knew he really wanted to start his own business, and food was a natural choice. A true entrepreneur, he began “TJ’s Pizza” in June of 1968, with a few friends trying some recipes. His first location was on Bellefontaine Ave across from Lima Stadium and was followed by four more locations on Elida Rd, in Delphos, on Shawnee Rd and Harding Highway. Eventually in order to focus on his growing family, he downsized to one location on Elida Rd. This was later moved to the current location on Baty Rd. His pizza has lasted over 50 years and will continue to bring smiles to many faces for years to come, as the tradition lives on through his son John.
TJ never knew a stranger. When not spending time with family or working at TJ’s, he could be found roaming around the community enjoying local sporting events and meeting new people. TJ’s passion for food usually led to a conversation about his pizza, and then would sometimes lead to an immediate trip to TJ’s Pizza for a hot sample. He would insist they eat the pizza right away to verify it was the best they ever had and this would often develop a lasting friendship.
Although he enjoyed success in his business ventures he always stated that his true treasure was his children. He most enjoyed spending time with his family and was very proud of their accomplishments.
He served as president of the Allen County Humane Society for over a decade, president of the Elida Lions club and was also an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates. He was an avid supporter of the Lima Central Catholic and Elida High School communities, as well as the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his mother Leota K Askins (Wolfe). He is survived by his wife Marilyn, five children Jessica, Jason (Serena), John, Jenelle (JR) and Justin, his sister Pamela and his seven grandchildren Gabriella, Caleb, Kaden, Anna, Declan, Lydia and Grayson.
Please join the family for a memorial viewing of TJ, on Saturday May 4, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM or on Sunday May 5, from 4:00 to 8:00 PM at CHILES-LAMAN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, SHAWNEE CHAPEL, 1170 Shawnee Road, Lima.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, May 6 at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 2200 West Elm Street, Lima.
Interment will immediately follow the mass in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Allen County Humane Society or American Heart Association.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.chiles-lamanfh.com