Nov. 17, 1920-Oct. 5, 2012
Austin Albert, 91, died on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in Farmington. He was born Nov. 17, 1920 in Roswell, to James and Lillian (Klinge) Albert.
Austin and Mary settled in Aztec. After a brief transfer to Carrizozo they returned to Aztec where they resided until Mary's passing. After Mary's passing, Austin lived with Carol in Virginia for a few years, then with Bill and Linda in Texas and Colorado. At the time of his death he resided in San Juan County.
Austin worked as a County Extension Agent until 1976 when he retired. He was instrumental in developing and teaching agricultural practices, especially working to improve orchard productivity locally. He was beloved by many of the "4-Hers" that he taught and influenced through his years in Extension. During his last years in the Extension Service, Austin served as the Extension Agent to the Southern Pueblo's at which time he was presented with the Meritorious Service Award from New Mexico State University in recognition of his 28 years' service to New Mexico.
Dad had a life-long love of flying. He was a pilot in the 5th Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946, reaching the rank of Captain. He was instrumental in building the Aztec Municipal Airport. During the 1950's he helped develop the airport from a simple dirt runway into the backbone of the current airport.
Dad loved to spin a yarn. He loved to tell stories of the 27 models of airplanes that he flew in his lifetime. He could entertain for hours with stories of his many escapades and how he managed to stay on his mother's good side despite his antics. Dad was a practical joker extraordinaire. He loved a good joke and spent many hours strategizing his escapade. Dad loved music. He played his way through New Mexico State University in the dance band. Music was always a part of his life, playing the trumpet and later the organ. He also loved a good adventure, spending many family hours camping, jeeping and boating at popular local sites. Mostly, he never gave up his love of flying, purchasing and flying an Ultra-light well into his 80's. Austin was dearly loved by his family. He will be missed.
Austin was preceded in death by his wife, Mary (Harter) Albert; his parents; brothers, John Albert and James Albert and sister, Ruth Parks and Elizabeth Moore.
He is survived by his sons, Bill (Linda) Albert, of Cortez, Colo. and Chuck Albert; daughters, Carol Kunkel, of Alexandria, Va. and Gayle Ann (""Dell"") DellÁringa; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren plus one more on the way.
A memorial service will be 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Cope Memorial Chapel, 405 S. Main Ave in Aztec, with Rev. Phil Offerle officiating.
Arrangements are with Cope Memorial Chapel, 405 S. Main Ave, in Aztec 505-334-9332.