He was born Sept. 8, 1928, in Portsmouth, to the late Elijah Ray and Anna Marie Heath Askew.
James retired from General Motors, and he was a Korean War era veteran of the Navy. He was also a 1948 Portsmouth High School graduate.
Surviving are three sons, James R. Askew Jr. of Ashville, Ohio, Craven R. Askew of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Steven Askew; two daughters, Reba Marie Will of Dallas, Ga., and Anna Marie Askew Ly of St. Petersburg; two brothers, John and Paul Askew, both of Portsmouth; a sister, Ruth Jean Mullens of New Port Richey, Fla.; and 12 grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, his sister, Wanda Keglovich, also preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at noon at the Ralph F. Scott Funeral Home in Portsmouth, with the Rev. Paul Askew officiating, and interment in Black Oak Cemetery. The James Dickey Post 23 American Legion will conduct military graveside rites. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday at the funeral home.