Staryl Austin
1920 - 2015
{ "" }
Share Staryl's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Brig. Gen. Staryl C. Austin, Jr.

September 16, 1920 - January 1, 2015

With gratitude for his life of dedication to family, church and country, the family of Staryl Austin announces his passing in Salem, at age 94, after an extended illness.

Staryl was born in Condon, Oregon, later moving to Bend, then Albany before his family arrived in Salem in 1929. He graduated from Salem High School in 1938. He developed an interest in flying from an early age, and at age 21 enlisted in the Army Air Corps; after early training as an airplane mechanic he was accepted into flight school. Staryl became a pilot trainer, then was sent to the European theater in 1944 where he flew 58 missions as a P-47 pilot, including air support for the Battle of the Bulge. Upon returning to Salem after V-E day he married his sweetheart, Jacqueline Judd, whom he had met several years earlier while picking strawberries. Staryl soon joined the fledgling Oklahoma Air National Guard, moving with Jackie to Tulsa, where he attended the Spartan School of Engineering. Recalled to active duty during the Korean War, the couple moved to France where he was stationed, giving them the opportunity to explore much of Western Europe when not on duty.

Staryl joined the Oregon Air National Guard in 1953, commanding the 142nd Fighter Interceptor Group. He and Jackie settled in Portland, where sons Steve and Andy were born, then moved to Salem in 1958 after Staryl was assigned to the Oregon Military Department Headquarters. In 1963 he was promoted to Brigadier General and was appointed Assistant Adjutant General. In 1973 Staryl became the first Air National Guard officer to be appointed Deputy Adjutant General of Oregon, a position he held until his military retirement in 1981. He was respected and loved by those who worked under him, and he was proud to be the second U. S. Air National Guard recipient of the Order of the Sword, a special program where noncommissioned officers of a command honor individuals they hold in high esteem.

During his 40-year military career he was also awarded the USAF Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and many other honors, but his true bliss was always flying. In retirement he was active with the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association and the National Guard Association. In 2007 he was inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor, located at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville.

Staryl's second career began in 1981 when he was appointed by Gov. Atiyeh as Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs. He took on the difficult challenge of restoring financial stability to the Veteran's Home Loan program and succeeded in laying the foundation for today's thriving ODVA. In 1984 he again "retired", but remained active in a volunteer capacity, serving on the Governor's Veterans' Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors for the Veterans Care Centers of Oregon, and lobbying the Oregon Legislature on behalf of Oregon veterans.

Staryl was a longtime member of the First Christian Church of Salem, and served his congregation in many capacities including trustee and board chairman. His faith, though not often expressed openly, surely guided his personality, his leadership style, his love of family and his everyday decisions. Staryl also contributed his administrative and leadership skills as a Boy Scout volunteer, working at the district and council levels, for which he was given the Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope awards for distinguished service.

In retirement, besides his volunteer service, Staryl enjoyed car and household projects, reading airplane magazines, and was particularly fond of doting on his two grandsons. He is surely missed by family and friends across the country.

Staryl was preceded in death by his parents, Staryl (Sr.) and Mabel Austin, brother William and sisters Juanita Barnes and Rosemary Downing. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Jacqueline, sons Steven and Andrew, daughter-in-law Kathy, grandsons Andrew Van Den Bos and Treyvor Austin, brother Charles, and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

An interment service with military honors will be held on Saturday, January 10 at 10:00 AM at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. A memorial service will follow at 1:00 PM at the First Christian Church in Salem. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Salem First Christian Church Memorial Fund or the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Statesman Journal on Jan. 7, 2015.
Memorial service
01:00 PM
First Christian Church
10:00 AM
Willamette National Cemetery
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
20 entries
May 29, 2015
We just learned of General Austin's passing in the Oregon Guard Newsletter and are both very sorry to receive this news.

When we married in 1972, General Austin always had a smile and greeting for us "underlings" at Guard events. He later shared very kind words and memories with us at Mark's retirement from the Guard in 2001.

He had a remarkable career and will be missed.

Col(ret) & Mrs. Mark Doolittle
Klamath Falls, OR
April 7, 2015
I miss just knowing that you are here with us. God bless you Uncle Staryl! I love you.
Kathie Carr
January 25, 2015
I would love to hear from Jackie, as my parents called her. I am so sorry I just found out about his death. We had lost track of him and I happened to look him up on the Internet today. I am so sad I could not have corresponded with him.
My name is Kay Spencer Cavin. My dad was Vincent W. Spencer. He attended Spartan Aeronautical School also. My email is if any of his family would contact me I would love to hear from them.
January 25, 2015
I am Kay Spencer. My dad Vincent Spencer served under General Austin during WWII and the Korean War.
He must have been a great man.
Kay Spencer Cavin
January 15, 2015
Those of us that served in the Army side of the Oregon National Guard respected him and his work and saw him as a"Purple" suit serving both the Air and Army units equally. We will miss his advise and sharp mind. Farewell General--GOD SPEED
Robert Wilson (BG)R
January 10, 2015
What a great guy and 30 year friend! Will miss all the flying talk while blocking the isles at Roth's Sunnyslope Market!
Jack Cook
January 10, 2015
My father Mack Eberhart wishes to express his condolences. Staryl was his best friend when they were attending the Spartan Aviation College in Tulsa, OK around 1947, and later in the OK Air Nat. Guard. My dad is the one who told Staryl about the Guard and got him to join up with him so they could fly the P-51 Mustangs. They had many aerial adventures together. I recall my dad bragging about how sharp Staryl was in his studies, and how he made the courses look so easy. I'm happy that Mack had such a great friend in his fellow pilot Staryl back then, and all through his life. Godspeed General !
Mark Eberhart
January 10, 2015
Staryl and Mack flew in this formation for some Tulsa football games
Mark Eberhart
January 10, 2015
Oklahoma Air Nat. Guard P-51 like Staryl and my father Mack Eberhart flew
Mark Eberhart
January 10, 2015
We had the privilege of getting to know Gen. Austin in 2009 when he was very helpful in supporting Oregon legislation designating US Highway 97 in Oregon as "World War II Veterans Historic Highway". He was a gentleman and a patriot. We pray that his family is comforted by God's love and promises.
Steve & Laura West
January 9, 2015
Lt. Staryl Austin leans on his P-47 during training, 1943
Mike Allegre
January 9, 2015
What a kind man. He was good to Veterans and those of us who worked for him.. I always enjoyed his return visits to ODVA. He will be missed by many.
Laurel Bosvert
January 9, 2015
Wishing the family peace and comfort.
Bert and Dee Mackaman
January 8, 2015
Did not know him but so grateful for his service!
January 8, 2015
Our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Austin. He will be remembered for his wisdom, friendliness and always ready with a smile to his employee at ODVA. Lori Karvandi
January 7, 2015
He was a very amazing person and I had the great privilege of working with him. My prayers go out to the family, God Bless You.
January 7, 2015
He was a great leader and he truly cared about all of us.
sandra montalvo
January 7, 2015
Clint Gruber used to say that Staryl had the patience of Job. Indeed he did. I too had the pleasure of working for Staryl who gave me a chance that changed my life. He is respected and loved by those who knew him. My heartfelt sympathies go out to Jackie and the family.
Sharon Kussman
January 7, 2015
I had the honor of working with and getting to know Mr. Austin while working at ODVA. He always had a smile and a kind word when he saw you in or out of the office. He will truly be missed by all who knew him
Mae Wasson
January 7, 2015
I had a special fondness for Staryl having lost an uncle who was also an Air Force General. We worked together on several projects at church. Craig, Jordan and I send our deepest sympathy to Jackie, Steve, Andy and families. Rest in peace, General. with love, Becky Johnson
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences