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William Norman Austin

Obituary Condolences

William Norman AUSTIN William (Bill) Norman Austin, born in Seattle February 2, 1920, died peacefully at home, October 4, 2011. The only child of Margaret (Jensen) and Norman Austin, he was a lifelong Seattle resident, with brief forays to Hollywood, Alaska, and Hawaii. He is survived by daughters Kristi and Melanie Austin, son Robert, and grand-children, Stella and Matthew Austin. Bill Austin was an autodidact, often reading hundreds of books on a given subject. He maintained ties throughout his adult life with university professors from diverse disciplines. Active in the early days of Seattle's science fiction fandom, his Wolf Den Bookstore (1949-51) served as the first gathering place for science fiction fans in the area, meetings which lasted into the early 1990s at venues such as Horizon Books and daughter Kristi's Arkadian Books. He also created hundreds of small semi-abstract drawings, some of which can be seen at www.William-n-Austin.com. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, he was told that he could expect to live 2-3 years.His strong constitution overcame those odds. In the end, he departed this world in the same way that he lived his life: on his own terms. He is dearly missed. An informal memorial gathering will be held in Ballard from 4-7 pm on April 21. Contact austkris@isu.edu for details. Donations in his memory may be made to the Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 25, 2012
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