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Barbara Brown AUSTIN


1922 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Our wonderful mother, Barbara Brown Austin, the oldest of four children, was born October 9, 1922, in Rochester, Minn. In high school, she met our father John Austin, who commented that she was "the cutest little blue-eyed redhead." Mother had exquisite taste. Her homes, from Saint Paul, to Sanibel Island, to our summer home on Lower Whitefish Lake, were always beautiful, warm and inviting. She often commented that the best days of her life were those spent raising her 15 children. (That's us!) Although it was hard work, we seldom heard her complain. Over the years, our family has grown and now spans five generations with 32 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Mother spoke with pride about everyone's accomplishments and kept close track of their lives via Facebook and email. She enjoyed working in her garden, biking, swimming, and running, and did so well into her 80s and 90s. She was an avid reader and theater-goer who enjoyed shows at the Ordway and Guthrie. She even grew to love the occasional daytime soap opera. Mother was the perfect hostess and loved to entertain guests at her home.She was also a wonderful cook and her children and grandchildren recall her baking sheets upon sheets of chewy ginger and oatmeal cookies, which never lasted long. Mother will be remembered as a devout Catholic and as a lovely, kind, nurturing yet tough woman, with catchphrases like "I'm fine," "I can do that," "Not too much water in my scotch," and "Who is going to take me to mass?" Our dad, Dr. John Austin, preceded Mother in death in 1993, and she spoke often of her excitement to see him again and dance with him once more. Her family grieves for her today but believes she's with dad again, sharing one more dance. She will be terribly missed. We were so lucky to have her for almost 97 years. Our mother, Barbara Austin, is survived by her sister Elizabeth Brandt of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, her 15 children Ann Austin McCormick (Don), Jane Austin McGrath (Terry), John Austin Jr., Barbara Austin Bryce (Dave), Elizabeth "Beck" Austin, Christopher Austin (Wendy), Kathryn Austin Stigge (John), Margaret Austin-Stephenson (Rick), Louise Austin (Mike Hall), Martha Austin Carlson (Gary), Mark Austin (Sue), Peter Austin (Chris Foss), Robert Louie Austin, Sarah Austin, Jeffry Austin (Robin). Mass of Christian Burial Friday (1/18) at 10AM at Church of the Assumption, 51 7th St W, St. Paul. Visitation Thursday (1/17) from 4-7PM at O'Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home, 575 S. Snelling Ave, St. Paul. Interment Calvary Cemetery, Rochester, MN. Please send donations to Catholic Charities.
Published in Pioneer Press on Jan. 13, 2019
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