This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24) B W Aston, 73, died Thursday, March 25, 2010. He was born April 27, 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas to Ernest Roy Aston and Mural Aston,
You might say B W grew up on the streets of Fort Worth where he picked up his adventurous ways that caused him and his wife, Lillie, to tour all fifty states, southern Canada from Vancouver to Prince Edward Island, and some seventy foreign countries. Upon graduation from Technical High, B W, after a short stint at Arlington Jr. College, entered the Air Force in January of 1955 and served until September 1958 when Eisenhower sent him home to try college a second time. This time it worked. He received his B.S (62), M.A. (64) and Ph.D in history (72), all from Texas Tech University. Along the way he met Lillie Mae Fields in 1959 and married her on August 26, 1961. She was the best thing that ever happened to him.
As B W often told Dr. Elwin Skiles, president HSU, that the best thing he ever did was hire him to teach at HSU. That was in 1967. B W told Elwin that he was looking for a home. Little did he know that he had found it. Thirty five years later, he retired.
While at HSU BW served in many different capacities: Chairman of the History Dept (72-92), Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (2000-2001), Dir. of the Evening College (72-78), Abilene Photographic Collection (80-2002) and the Rupert Richardson Research Center (81-2002). He also served as Vice-President and President of the Faculty, chosen as Faculty member of the year (1989-90), went on three sabbaticals, Dominican Republic (1984), taught at Massey University in New Zealand (1993), and Belfast Ireland (2000).
As a professional, B W was a member of many different associations, Ranging from the Texas Folklore Society to the National Popular Culture Society. The two that he worked most closely with were the Southwest Council of Latin American Studies (1973 to the present). He served it in many different capacities from Sec. Treasurer to President in 1981-82. The other organization was the West Texas Historical Association. He served as Secretary-Treasurer (1972-1998), Associate Editor of the Year Book (1976-98), Executive Director (1992-98) and Life Director (1999 to present). His professional publications and talks were equally broad. A few included Limantour and Mexico's Conversion to the Gold Standard; Boom and Bust Along the T & P; The Use of Female Imagery In The Selling of World War II; and NAFTA, Mexico and the 1994 Gold Rush. He and Don Taylor also updated and added to Dr. Richardson's Along Texas Old Fort Trails, and the list could go on but you get the idea.
B W was also very active in the local community serving on the Landmarks Commission, Taylor County Historical Society, and the Abilene Committee for the Humanities. He also served on numerous special projects.
B W was also very active at University Baptist Church and Pioneer Drive Baptist Church where he taught Sunday School, at various levels, for about 35 years. At both churches B W served in many different capacities from cook to Chairman of the Deacons. For the past fourteen years he has been teaching the Couples Class in the Paul Department. In all of his church work, B W was a person that exhibited the traits of the Fruit of the Spirit. He was a man of charity, joyful, easy going, patient, kind, humble, temperate and filled with the faith of his Lord Jesus Christ.
B W was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Verlon Aston. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Lillie Mae; a brother, Weldon Aston of Fort Worth; nephews Steve, Jeff, and June Aston; niece, Sharon Aston and great nephew Trey Aston all of the Fort Worth/Dallas area. Diane Abraham, a friend in Wisconsin, who called him dad
Visitation will be from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 28, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home located at 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. There will be a graveside service held at Mount Pleasant Cemetery just outside Tolar, Texas on Monday, March 29, at 11:00 a.m. It will be officiated by Rev. Bruce Morris a member of B W's Sunday School Class. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 30, at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas
In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to the Hardin-Simmons Student Scholarship Endowment Fund or a charity of your choice.
Free At Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty I am Free at Last (MLK) from those chains that bound me to this earth. El Jefe