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Sally Austin

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Sally Austin Obituary
AUSTIN The Early Years - Long, long ago and far, far away a baby girl was born in Orlando, Florida on January 27, 1932. Her name was Sally Powell Rippey. Her mother and father both grew up in very small country towns where people worked hard for long hours to make a living. With this parentage and being born in the Depression, she was exposed to work from birth. Her father was a graduate of Indiana University and was a department store executive. He was able to provide a maid for her mother who was crippled. Her sisters, Netsy and Carol, were born in 1937 and 1938. Her growing up years in Orlando were fairly routine for her age in the 1930s and early 1940s. She had age appropriate chores as she grew, including helping with her little sisters. She had a best friend named Sissy who turned out to be a life-long friend. Our families made vacation trips together to Riodiso, NM, and also to the Grand Canyon. This was obviously after our children were grown and we could live a little. She was also a Girl Scout and a Junior Commando during WWII, doing her part on the home front. The High School and College Years In 1945, her father took a new job and the Rippey family moved to Tampa. Many friends as well as family members are familiar with the wonderful family home at 823 South Delaware. Sally went to Woodrow Wilson Junior High and Plant High School, making many friends along the way. As the house was near the schools, she was able to maintain a number of boyfriends who were permitted to park their bicycles at the house. Also, the family joined the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tampa. As the Austin family belonged to First Presbyterian as well, she met her future husband, Roger Q. Austin, Jr., at the Senior High School Fellowship that met Sunday evenings. We had excellent adult leadership and the Senior High Fellowship had many social activities. One of her favorite stories is the New Years Eve midnight movies where she tried to hold hands with Roger. And lo it came to pass that they both wound up at the University of Florida. They were married on January 29, 1954, she graduated in June, 1954 and Roger graduated in January, 1955, and reported to Eglin Air Force Base for 2 years active duty in February, 1955, bringing along a pregnant wife and a parakeet named Bimbo. The Raising Children Years Our baby girl, Margaret Louise, was born in May of 1955 and sadly we lost her in January 1956. Sally miscarried in 1954 while still in Gainesville so we took two heavy blows when we were young in our first two years of marriage. Buddy, Patti and Doug were born in 1956, 1958 and 1960. That seems like ideal spacing but in fact, when Doug was born, we had 3 under 3 . That means over 6 years of diapers and 2 in diapers much of the time. In 1961 we moved to Jacksonville. Sally did a helluva job with the children all those years. Everybody knows what that takes. She even returned to college at age 39 to take courses needed to obtain a teaching certificate and supplement the family finances. She taught at Wolfson, Lee and Forrest High Schools for a total of 13 years. Having all three children in college at one time was a real challenge. However, they all worked and paid a significant portion of their expenses. When Doug dismissed the doubters and graduated on time we all were very relieved. And so it was that in a short time all were living away from home for the first time. The Empty Nest Years Sally worked a few more years and then her priority became genealogy. We made trips to Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, the District of Columbia, not to mention remote parts of Florida. She was very active in her Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, serving two years as Regent. She also was a long time member and President of the Gateway Womans Club. Some of the highlights of the empty nest years were: children getting married, the arrival of grandchildren, vacation trips with friends, building our home in Atlantic Beach, retiring, and 60 year class reunions. Sally passed away on February 3, 2012 and is survived by her husband of 58 years, Roger; sons Roger III and Doug (Robin) and daughter Patti (Paul ) Pafford, grandchildren Kathryn, Michael, Cory, Eric, Taylor, Samantha and Shannon; and her beloved puppy, Baby. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 2 pm on Monday, February 6, 2012 at Community Presbyterian Church, Atlantic Beach, FL., with Rev. Dr. Gabe Goodman presiding. Arrangements are under the direction of HARDAGE-GIDDENS FUNERAL HOME, 1701 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, Fl. www.hardage-giddensbeacheschapel.com.
Published in the Florida Times-Union on Feb. 5, 2012
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