Gene Austin1937 - 2011
Gene Edward Austin of Presque Isle, formerly of Saline
passed into Heaven on Sunday, June Sth, 2011.
Gene was surrounded by his loving Family to be with his
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after his courageous battle
He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Nov 8th, 1937
to Hugh and Della (Teachout) Austin.
He grew up in Saline, Michigan on an apple and dairy farm with his siblings Kay,
Jerry, and Jan. The farm in later years became know as “Austin Orchards”.
Gene, his sisters and brother, and their cousins also grew up in a “musical family”,
all inheriting musical traits of their father’s sister and brother. He graduated from
Saline High School in 1955 and served in the US Army’s First Infantry Division
Band from 1955 -1956.
Gene married Doris Bacon on Novy, Ist, 1958, and together they raised their two
daughters Julie and Gina. He worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Company and
retired from At&T in 1986 after 30 years. During his telephone career he was active
in the Communication Workers of America (CWA) serving as steward, chief
steward, and President of Local 4011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Gene was a proud member of the Saline American Legion Post 322. For at least
40 years he marched in the Memorial Day Parade and played “TAPS” after each
21 gun salute. His grandson Ryan Kohler played his echo starting when Ryan was
in the 8th grade up until he graduated from high school.
In 1987 Gene started driving a school bus for Saline Area Schools and he was
vice-president of the MEA support staff.
On June 30th, 1990 he married Rose Bower. They retired from Saline Area Schools
in 1999, After 8 years of camping and fishing in Presque Isle, Michigan, they
cleared part of their wooded property and built their home. Gene and Rose enjoyed
fishing for salmon, lake trout, and steelhead on Lake Huron in his boat,
“The Bugler II”, and it was a thrill for him to watch someone else catch a fish on
his boat. He was a member of the Grand Lake Community Chapel and loved
singing in the choir.
Gene worked at the Presque Isle State Harbor Marina from 2003-2011 as a dock
hand. He loved opening up early in the morning, raising the American Flag, talking
with boaters, and watching the bald eagles soar over Presque Isle.
Gene will be sadly missed by his beloved wife Rose, loving dog Dakota,
daughter Julie (Chuck) Phillips, daughter Gina (Mike) Seberger,
step-daughter Lynn (Jon) Reynolds, step-daughter Bonnie Burchell,
step-son Chris (Susan) Halliday, step-daughter Michelle (Todd) Jedele,
sister Kay (Vic) Guenther, brother Jerry (Jan) Austin, sister Jan (Jerry) Charter.
Gene was known as Papa, Little Papa, and Papa Gene to five grandchildren;
Renae, Ryan (fiance Michelle), Sarah, Alison, and Morgan, and
twelve step-grandchildren, Michael, Lyndsay, Hayley, Chelsea, David, Adam,
Jacob, Sarah, Jenny, Anna, Sydney, and Siera. Also, his special friends
Duke Buchanan, and Craig & Linda Dersa, and many other relatives & co-workers.
Gene will be most remembered for singing his favorite hymn “How Great Thou Art”
and playing his trumpet and bugle.
Friends may visit at the Grand Lake Community Chapel on Friday, June 10th from
12:00 noon through time of funeral at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor Renee Perkins
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Grand Lake Community Chapel or
to the family of Gene Austin for a charity to be decided at a later date.