FLETCHER-Ruel Herbert Austin, Sr., 85, died peacefully at his home in Fletcher, NC on April 30, 2014. Ruel was born on October 1, 1928 to Elva Lance Austin Riddle and Claude C. Austin. He was raised and spent his formative years on the Biltmore Estate. Ruel married Jeanne Patton on October 5, 1947 and they spent 66 years together. They have three children, Rudy Austin and wife Diane; Claudia DuBose; and Jim Austin and wife Sandy. Their grandchildren are Sally Austin Hundley and husband Ron; Lori Austin Sutton and husband Bryan; Sam Austin Luster and wife Jennifer; and Aubrey Austin. Their great grandchildren are Sarah and Cub Hundley; Maggie and Lily Sutton; and Kaitlyn and Kendall Luster.
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Ruel was a 75 year member and Deacon of Biltmore Baptist Church. He was formerly a leader of the Royal Ambassadors, leader of the Young People's department and loved using his bass voice as a member of the choir. He was a Knight Commander of the Court of Honour of the 32nd Degree Mason and 50 year member and Past Master of Biltmore Masonic Lodge #446. He was Past Patron of Biltmore Chapter #38 of which he was a 50 year member and also a member of the Land of the Sky Shrine Club.
Ruel retired from the Asheville Water Department in 1994. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing and playing golf. He also enjoyed gardening and working in the yard.
The family especially appreciates the loving care provided by Becky, Michelle, Deb, and all the staff of CarePartners.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 3rd at 2 PM in the Chapel of Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. Interment will be at Calvary Churchyard following the service. The family will receive friends Friday, May 2nd from 7 to 9 PM at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, 950 W. Faris Rd., Greenville, SC 29605, Attention Kea Wade; or CarePartners Hospice Foundation, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813,www.carepartnersfoundation.org.
The memorial register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
1401 Patton Avenue Asheville, NC 28806
Published in The Times-News on May 2, 2014