William Thomas Austin, Jr.
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William Thomas Austin, Jr., of Raymond, died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on Sunday, January 4, 2014, of complications following pneumonia.
He was 83.
Austin chose to make the final great gift and donated his body to UMC for anatomical study. From a family of teachers and having had "so many different illnesses" during his lifetime, he believed he "could help teach some future physicians and other health professionals" as their first patient.
Born in Jackson on December 21, 1930, to Ella Bess Hutchison Austin and William Thomas Austin, Sr., Austin grew up in Terry where he was graduated from high school.He attended Hinds Junior College and then earned his bachelor's of arts degree at Mississippi College in 1952.He returned to MC several times as a graduate student to take business courses.
Austin served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.After being honorably discharged in 1955, he began a long career in the civilian world of work.
He frequently recalled that he was among the first employees who worked at Mississippi's new academic health center (UMC) in the mid 50s. He also worked in retail, as a hospital administrator, in his own laminating business - and finally, before he retired, for Ergon as the manager of the company's service station and convenience store on the corner of Fortification and North State Street in Jackson. He took great pride in the young men he mentored while they were his store assistants, urging them to complete their educational programs and move into appropriate careers.
Austin lived in Jackson most of his life where he was a longtime member of First Baptist Church He moved to Riggs Manor, the Methodist retirement center in Raymond, nine years ago and lived there until his death.
Survivors include his son, Hugh Kelly and his wife, Debbie, of Hammond, La., his granddaughter, Melinda Kelly, her husband, Ben Romberg, and his great grandson, Austin Kelly Beutler, of Sydney, Australia, his sister, Barbara Austin, of Jackson, many cousins and friends - and his faithful companion, Lady Bug, his pug.
There will be no formal service at this time. Memorials may be made to Riggs Manor Retirement Community at 2300 Seven Springs Road, Raymond, MS 39154 or to a
Published in Clarion Ledger on Jan. 10, 2014