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In loving memory of
John Clark Askwith (Asquith)
  • August 29, 1943
  • -
  • October 04, 2019

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Obituary

John Clark Askwith (Asquith)

 On August 29, 1943 as the brilliant rays of the sun appeared over the never ending skies of Great Falls, Montana John Clark Askwith took his first breath. John’s parents.Thelma and Harold Askwith, were overjoyed at the birth of their son. When the second war ended Harold returned home and moved the family to Tilden, Nebraska where his paternal great grandparents settled. John was always grateful he spent his youth in a small town and especially loved long summer days at the local swimming pool. In 1965 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State College where he met his wife Sharon Sulka. They were married the following New Year’s Eve and moved to Indiana where both he and his wife taught school. Two years later he began his graduate work at the Art Institute of Chicago then attended and graduated with a MS from Illinois Institute of Technology and Design where he later taught graduate printmaking. He discovered that the original spelling of his last name was Asquith and began using it to sign his art work.

 John’s artistic talent was evident even as a child and as he matured he became a master of multiple mediums. Art patrons, critics. curators, and others took notice of his drawings, acrylic paintings, serigraphs, constructions, vacuum formed sculpture, ceramics, and airbrush portraits. His art was exhibited in galleries and juried competitions throughout the nation. Corporations, collectors, individuals , and many others purchased his work. John became a highly respected member of the art community. Even as he accumulated so many awards, ribbons, and medals, he remained humble never displaying any honors, but instead he built a large creative box to hold all of them.

 Fine art was not his only pursuit as he was an established graphic designer as well including books for Scott Foresman, various projects for the city of Chicago, design work for non profits, numerous businesses, private clients, poster designs for Ravina Park, Chicago Art In Public Places, and HP Focus On The Arts. All of these design achievements were important to him, but his longest and most treasured endeavor was Outside Magazine which was the adopted sibling of Mariah Magazine, which he and the publisher gave birth to in the mid-70 s. When the magazine moved to Santa Fe, NM he relocated and remained with the publication until he retired . During his time as Design Director they won many awards including the National Magazine Award/General  Excellence. Some other honors included the Art Award of Excellence, American Illustrators (art direction & Illustration) Who’s Who in the Midwest, Who’s Who in America (Index) 5th Annual UTNE Reader-Best Publication, in Art & Design Award.

 Because the environment in which he lived and worked became a priority he remodeled his first home, designed and built his next two which reflected his sense of sculpture and design. They stand as testaments of his creativity and artistic nature. He frequently included something circular to the design of his art, homes and even the first covers of Mariah Magazine.

 Most of all he was proud of his daughters, Seanra and Aberlynn who were fortunate to inherit some of their father s talent. John was at home in the water and taught each of his grandchildren to dive and swim. He enticed them to dive in the deep end of the pool with various treasures they could keep. The kids gave him an appropriate T-shirt that read “Poppy, the man, the myth, the legend”. Besides his family John loved his dog Tango with his whole heart and was her personal nurse giving her insulin shots twice a day for years. Later traveling the world with his wife Sharon and gourmet dining ranked as two of his favorite pursuits. John was in remission from small cell lung cancer, but the aggressive treatment took its toll badly scarring his lungs which reduced his natural oxygen intake. He became dependent on high flow generated oxygen which limited his mobility and physically weakened him. Always the artist he continued to paint until  his last day.

 In Florida on October 4, 2019 with John’s daughter Aberlynn and his wife Sharon at his side he took his last breath. He is survived by his wife Sharon Askwith, their daughter Seanra Kalil, her husband Mike, sons Jack and Grant, their daughter Aberlynn Zeigler, her husband Bryan, son Parker, and daughter Tayla, his brother Regan Askwith and wife Janice. At his request there was no funeral or wake with only a private viewing before cremation.

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  1. 22 Oct 2019
    Richard Cole says:
    My condolences Aunt Sharon, Seanra and Abby. Uncle John will truly be missed. While there are no words to express such a loss, please know you're in our thoughts. I recall so many great times as a young boy through adulthood with uncle John. He always wore a smile. While he had quite an accomplished career, most profound to me is the lasting impression of his genuine sincerity and quick wit. Those that got to know him, are all the better for it.
    GodSpeed uncle J !

  2. 18 Oct 2019
    Denise Stiles lit a candle:
    Lit since October 18, 2019 at 10:41:30 PM

  3. 18 Oct 2019
    Cheryl says:
    We're so sorry to hear of John's passing. Our sincere sympathy to Reagan and Janice, Sharon, girls and families. Cheryl and Kendall

  4. 17 Oct 2019
    Colleen Wear lit a candle:
    Lit since October 17, 2019 at 10:50:43 PM

  5. 17 Oct 2019
    Colleen Wear says:
    I was younger than John, but in Regan's class all through K-12 and I am sorry to hear of John's passing. He led a very interesting and full life from reading the obituary, pretty remarkable for someone who came from a little town on the prairie, Tilden NE! No words can take away the pain from losing someone you love, I know, but cherish the memories and know he is looking down on you all until you meet again. Having just lost my spouse earlier this year from cancer, I know it is hard journey.

    Colleen Wear

  6. 17 Oct 2019
    Jerry & Mary Dittrich posted an image:


  7. 17 Oct 2019
    Dean and Charlotte Zurcher lit a candle:
    Lit since October 17, 2019 at 10:05:05 AM

  8. 16 Oct 2019
    Aberlynn lit a candle:
    Lit since October 16, 2019 at 10:31:18 PM

  9. 16 Oct 2019
    Bill Seifert lit a candle:
    Lit since October 16, 2019 at 10:27:02 PM

  10. 16 Oct 2019
    Larry Burke says:
    There are so many stories,and so many memories from the first time I met John or JA as he became known at Mariah Magazine, which soon became what is today OUTSIDE. We started together in early 1975 working nights in my barren condominium on Chicago's near north side laying out John's design concepts, department names, type styles, column structure and the dozens of details about which neither of us knew anything about. There was no furniture so everything was done on the floor until it finally met his exacting standards. He not only designed the magazine in the early days but was also production manager, an exhausting and technically challenging job. John and I worked together for over twenty years. He was the bedrock of the company, his calming and soothing nature would defuse the most volatile tensions. I think everyone he ever met loved him. I did. I have wished on many occasions that I could have seen more of him after he retired from Outside.
    My heart goes out to Sharon, Aberlynn and John's entire family. I will miss him not being on this earth.
    Larry Burke
    Larry Burke

  11. 16 Oct 2019
    Ron & JoEllen Oppliger lit a candle:
    Lit since October 16, 2019 at 10:45:38 PM

  12. 16 Oct 2019
    Regan Askwith says:
    Brother John and I were very close and have so many fond memories of our travels and just doing things together.
    We shall all miss John and may he now rest in peace.
    Regan & Janice Askwith

  13. 16 Oct 2019
    Regan Askwith lit a candle:
    Lit since October 16, 2019 at 10:08:34 AM

  14. 16 Oct 2019
    Regan Askwith posted an image:
    John & I at the Captains dinner aboard ship in the Bahama's.
    John & I at the Captains dinner aboard ship in the Bahama's.

  15. 15 Oct 2019
    Judy Cook says:
    We will miss John so much!! John and Sharon were our nxt door neighbors for 8yrs and such wonderful friends. Bob and I send our love and condolences to all the family! RIP JOHN!!
    Love your friends
    Judy and Bob

  16. 15 Oct 2019
    Frances E Day says:
    I would like to offer my sincere condolences on John's passing. A wonderful man, husband and father. I am so pleased that Sharon and John were able to travel the world and spend so much quality time together.

    Fran and Henry Day