Raymond Lee Austin
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SALISBURY - Raymond Lee Austin, 91, died peacefully at his home in the presence of his loving family on July 23, 2014.
He was the son of the late Eva Lula Belle Miller Austin and Orin Orestus Austin. Born in the Morgan Township on Dec. 22, 1922, he was educated in the eastern Rowan County schools.
He was very proud of his military service to his country in the Army Anti-Aircraft 551 Battalion from 1942 to 1945, serving in Italy, Germany, France and Sicily and was awarded a Silver Star and five Bronze Stars.
Raymond was employed at N.C. Finishing Company in the boiler room as a Fireman II for 41 years until his retirement in 1989.
Raymond was a big man with a big heart who enjoyed raising watermelons and tomatoes and sharing with his many friends and neighbors. He also enjoyed fishing at the coast in the fall with friends at Topsail Island, and picking up pecans and mowing his lawn.
His greatest treasure was his grandchildren and enjoying weekends at the Panther Point cottage. His greatest enjoyment was sitting on his swing on the front porch and having friends and neighbors drop by for a talk.
Preceding him in death was his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Inez Bringle Austin, who he married in 1941 and who preceded him in death in March 2003; a son, Raymond Lee Austin Jr., who died in January 2003 from complications from polio; a precious daughter, Mary Loretta Smith in July 2008; four brothers, Manuel Eugene Austin, casualty of World War II, Harlo Frank Austin, Rurnal Richard Austin and Jeems David Austin; two sisters, an infant sister, Mary Catherine Austin, and Betty Lou Austin Starnes.
He is survived by sons Ernest Olin Austin and wife Patricia Kesler Austin of Salisbury, Ricky Brian Austin and wife Patricia Hatley Austin of Kannapolis; one daughter, Helen Marie Cauble Peacock and husband Gordon of Salisbury; grandchildren Todd Smith (Kelly) of Salisbury, Rhonda Smith Elliot (John) of Gold Hill, Christopher Austin (Krista) of Greenville, Angela Cauble Abernathy (Gene) of Salisbury, Zachary Austin of Kannapolis, Tricia Austin and Tara Austin of Kannapolis. Great-grandchildren are Corbin Elliot of Gold Hill, Lily Marie Abernathy of Salisbury and Henry Austin of Greenville. One brother survives, John Austin of Salisbury; sisters are Lola Burris of New London and Faye Yarbrough of Concord, Calif.
Visitation: 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, 9275 Bringle Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC 28146 in the Family Life Center.
Service: 3 p.m. Saturday, July 26 at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in the sanctuary with Rev. Gary Coble officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military graveside rites by the Lyerly Volunteer Honor Guard.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, 720 Grove St., Salisbury, NC 28144; or St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Scholarship Fund.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Chet Amin and the staff of Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care for their care and support during this time. And thanks to all the family and friends that showed loving kindness to Raymond by dropping by with memories to share and words of encouragement.
Lyerly Funeral Home is serving the Austin family. Online condolences may be made at www.lyerlyfuneralhome.com
Lyerly Funeral Home
515 S. Main St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
Published in Salisbury Post on July 25, 2014