William E. Austin, Sr.

William E. Austin Sr. (Bill) passed away on Friday, April 19, 2019 at his home in The Village, Gainesville Florida. Bill was born on November 2, 1925 in Charlotte, N.C. The only child of the late Culpepper and Eddie Smith Austin, he graduated from the public schools of Mecklenburg County, N.C. (Long Creek) in 1942. He received an AA degree from Lees McRae Junior College, Banner Elk, N.C. in 1944. Immediately following his graduation from Lees McRae, he entered the U.S. Army and served in both the European and Pacific Theaters. His unit was involved in the “Battle of the Bulge” and was redeployed to the Philippines after the German surrender. After serving with the Japanese occupation forces, he was discharged and returned home in May of 1946 having achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. He also served for a year as an activated reservist during the Korean conflict. Returning to North Carolina, he briefly attended UNC Charlotte and The Citadel before graduating from N.C. State in 1950 with an engineering degree. His professional career was devoted to agriculture and natural resource conservation. He served with the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS/NRCS) in various states including: North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and Florida. His last position with the agency was in Gainesville, Florida, serving as State Conservationist. He returned to Raleigh, North Carolina, following retirement from SCS to head the N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation for two years. He was a member of a number of professional and civic organizations including: Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Soil Conservation Society of America, American Society of Agricultural Engineers and American Geophysical Union. He is listed in “Who’s Who in Government” and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also devoted over 26 years volunteering with SunState Federal Credit Union in Gainesville on the Board and Supervisory Committee and received the Volunteer of Distinction designation for his years of service. He was a protestant and spent his retirement years in Gainesville and Welaka, FL. His late wife, Anna C. Austin and he are survived by three children, five Grandchildren and seven Great-Grandchildren. They are: Son, Bill Jr. and wife Peggy of Palm City, FL, their children Molly (Jersey City, NJ) and Paige (Fort Myers, FL). Daughter Terry A. Howard of Gainesville, FL, and her children Christine, (Jason) Shoop, Holly Springs, NC, children Hailey and Holly, and Amanda (Kyle) Hogg, High Springs, FL, children Cambell, Cailyn and Karlee and son Randy and wife Amy of Dacula, GA their child Aaron (Erika) of Bainbridge, GA, children Aiden and Emmit. Interment will be in the Jacksonville National Cemetery in Jacksonville, FL. Expressions of remembrance may be sent to the American Red Cross. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361