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Donald Austin

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Donald Austin Obituary


1932 - 2012

LCDR USN (ret) Donald Harvey Austin, 80, died at home in Gulf Breeze, Florida on October 26, 2012.

He was born on October 16, 1932 in Mineola, New York, to Thomas and Lillian Austin. As a youth he enjoyed digging for clams and duck hunting in Great South Bay, Long Island. He served as an Aviator in the United States Navy until his retirement in 1973. His most memorable times included his assignment as a flight instructor, mentoring young pilots, and serving on the USS Randolph as a helicopter pilot. In 1961 he married the love of his life, his "Georgia Peach" Camille Pharr Austin, and was by her side until her death in 2005. After his retirement he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of West Florida, taught JROTC, and had a successful real estate career in Gulf Breeze.

Don was an avid outdoorsman and a devoted family man. He had a passion for hunting, fishing, golf and cooking. He was an active member of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, where he served as Head Usher for many years. He also volunteered at Baptist Hospital later in life. Don will be most remembered for his gracious hospitality and unconditional consideration for others, as well as his delicious leg of lamb and seafood gumbo.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Camille, his parents, his brother Warren E. Austin, and is survived by his sister Jane Austin Yates, of Salem City, New Jersey.

He is survived by his children, Thomas Edward Austin of Orlando, Florida, Donna Elizabeth Bottcher and son-in-law LTC David William Bottcher of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has three grandchildren: Nicholas Edward Austin, Jonathan Patrick Austin and Sydney Elizabeth Bottcher. He is remembered by his life-long best friend, Al Morel of Long Island, New York.

A memorial service and celebration of Don's life will be held at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 11am, with visitation at 10am. Interment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola at 12:30pm with full military honors. BAYVIEW FISHER-POU Chapel, 3351 Scenic Hwy, Pensacola is entrusted with the arrangements.

The family would like to thank the staff of Select Specialty Hospital and Covenant Hospice for their compassion and loving care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Covenant Hospice ( or to the National Museum of Naval Aviation (

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on Oct. 30, 2012
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