Francis M. Austin, formerly of Newington CT, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 16, 2013 at St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham, MA. He was born on March 8, 1927 in Hartford CT, the son of the late Otto B. and Rose M. Austin. Fran graduated from Buckley High School and went on to earn a business degree from Trinity College, where he served in the College Senate. Following college, Fran served for two years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, and was discharged as a sergeant. For many years he was a manager and assistant treasurer at the Connecticut Bank & Trust Co. He later worked for the Marriot Hotel Corporation. Fran was well known for his community service activities which included serving as a member of the Elks Club, a member and Governor of the Civitan Club, a Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator of the Knights of Columbus, a volunteer for the Special Olympics and a Eucharistic Minister for St. Mary Parish Catholic Church in Newington, CT. He also served as treasurer of the C atholic Graduates Club, where he met Ruth Lafond whom he married in 1955. Fran was a man with endless curiosity about the world. He collected coins and stamps, was an expert gardener, an accomplished photographer, and an avid train enthusiast who traveled by train across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Fran enjoyed hours working on his own model railroad at home. Fran and Ruth Austin raised their family in Wethersfield, CT, before moving to Newington, CT. For the past 4 years he resided at Carmel Terrace and St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham , MA. Fran leaves his wife of 58 years Ruth Austin of Framingham, MA; his son F. Martin Austin Jr. and his wife Laura of South Windsor, CT; his daughter Kathleen T. Austin and her husband James Hanrahan of Framingham, MA; and his daughter Rosemary A. Austin of Milton, MA. He also leaves his sister Helen Powers of Madison, CT, and was predeceased by his brother Thomas Austin and sisters Rita Chagnon and Mary Gabree. Fran will be fondly remembered at Carmel Terrace and St. Patrick's Manor for his friendly smile and sparkling blue eyes, his sense of humor, spirited dominoes games, his collection of singing robotic dogs and the courage to proudly flaunt his Yankees hat in the heart of Red Sox Nation. He will also be remembered for his passion for dessert, especially ice cream, which his daughters would smuggle to him against doctor's orders. He will most certainly be missed by his many canine friends who always received treats from his handy, blue treat pouch. On the day of Fran's passing the Yankees beat the Red Sox 10-3. Somewhere Fran is sporting his "I told you so" grin. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Parish Catholic Church 626 Willard Ave. Newington, CT on Friday, August 23 at 10:00 AM. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, NY, NY 10163-4777.
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Published in MetroWest Daily News on Aug. 21, 2013