Verity award winner says knowing Armco executive ‘means a lot to me’
“To be honored with something with your name on it means a lot to me,” said an emotional Ashworth, who grabbed a handkerchief and whipped her nose. “I knew him very well. We became very good friends after he retired.
Ashworth, 81, was joined at lunch by his wife, Judy Gilleland, former Middletown City Manager. When Middletown Municipal Court Judge James Sherron, the emcee, announced Ashworth as the winner of Verity, his mouth dropped.
“Total shock,” he said later.
Born in Dayton, Ashworth graduated from Eaton High School and the University of Miami in 1964 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He worked in the design department of Armco for 15 years. In 1979, he opened his graphic design studio.
Sherron said Ashworth stood “side by side” with past recipients of the Verity Award, first awarded in 1964.
An Army veteran, Ashworth is best known for his artistic work and his years of dedication to the Middletown Historical Society. He was Executive Director from 1998 to 2007 and remains active.
As Ashworth said, “I have a lot to do.”
Keynote speaker Nicole Condrey, an army veteran and mayor of Middletown, said the nation was more divided than ever.
“We’re in a weird position right now,” she said.
She challenged every veteran in the room to lead again by sharing their camaraderie with the rest of the country.
“We need your leadership,” she told them. “Your service is never done. You are committed to our country.
Condrey, who is part of Team Fastrax, a professional skydiving team based in Middletown, recently competed in the world championships. While there, she heard a quote that stuck with her: “Pressure is a privilege,” she said.
The four World War II veterans who attended the luncheon were recognized. These veterans – William Hendrickson, Joseph Holman, Ed McDonald and Donald Saylor – received certificates of appreciation for their service.
After everyone was recognized, the group received a standing ovation.