Hilda Mary Askew, 93

Aircraft mechanic

May 03, 2007

Hilda Mary Askew, a retired aircraft mechanic and hospital volunteer, died of an arterial disease April 25 at FutureCare Irvington. She was 93 and a former longtime resident of Ivanhoe Avenue in the city's Liberty Heights area.

Born Hilda Mary Sheffey in Baltimore and raised on Carrollton Avenue, she was a 1932 graduate of Frederick Douglass High School and received airplane assembly training certificates from Carver Vocational-Technical High School.

She became an aircraft mechanic at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. from 1942 to 1972 and received a Zero Defects Pin Award in recognition of her work.

She joined St. James Episcopal Church in 1956 and became a member of the St. Cecilia's Guild singing society there.

At a musical tea in 1945, she was crowned Miss YWCA of the Madison Avenue Y, where she was active for many years. After her retirement, she volunteered at University of Maryland Medical Center and dedicated 443 hours to cuddling babies born of drug-addicted mothers.

She was an active member of the Forest Park Senior Center.

The last of nine siblings, she was known as Aunt Hilda and became the matriarch of her family.

"She shared her wisdom and experiences growing up in Baltimore, remembered happy times and times of segregation and integration," said her niece Michelle Simmons of Baltimore. "She loved to entertain and loved to dance and have a good time. She was a free-spirited individual."

Services were held Tuesday at her church.

Survivors also include a nephew by marriage, John Simmons, with whom she lived, and many other nieces and nephews. Her husband of more than 50 years, Eugene Askew, died in 1988.

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