Don William Austin Sr. ‘Coach Austin’

Austin/Courtesy Photo
Austin/Courtesy Photo

Funeral services for Coach Austin will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 at Heflin Family Life Center in Heflin with the Rev. Ronnie Osborn officiating. Interment will follow at Bistineau Cemetery in Heflin. The family will receive friends at Heflin Family Life Center from 5 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015.

Coach Austin was born March 13, 1945 in Ruston and entered into rest Nov. 23, 2015 in Shreveport after a lengthy illness. He graduated from Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas and Louisiana Tech University with a Master and Bachelors degree in physical education, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. During college he also served in the United States Army Reserve. He spent 40 years teaching and coaching Jr. High School and the majority of his career was at Central Junior High and Lakeside Junior/ Senior High School, for many of those years he taught Adult Education at night. On May 25, 1968 he married Wanda Savell Austin at Westside Baptist Church in Shreveport. He was an avid white perch fisherman, duck hunter, sports enthusiast, and golf was his favorite pastime. He was a deacon at Heflin Baptist Church and served as a Sunday School teacher for many different ages throughout the years. He loved his family and was a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

He was preceded in death by his parents John A. and Margerite Austin, brothers: John A.(Buddy) Austin, Jr. and Richard Keith (Poss) Austin.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years Wanda Savell Austin, sons: Don William (Dub) Austin, Jr. and wife Penny, John Todd (T) Austin and wife Kim, and Matt Austin and wife Chasity, grandchildren: Logan Cammack, Claire Cammack, Destiny Austin, Drake Austin, Johnna Austin, Riley Austin, and Teal Austin, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Throughout his life of teaching, he left his mark on his students. As mentioned by many of his former students, coworkers, and friends, he had a kind smile and eyes that would light up a room. He has had an impact on countless lives as a teacher, coach, friend, father, and husband.

He was a patient man that found the positive in every person. He was an encourager and had a unique gift to make each person he met feel special, important, and welcomed. No matter if he was coaching, teaching Jr. High, night school, Sunday school or subbing. God used him to build confidence and integrity in everyone he encountered. His spirit of “paying it forward” will continue through the Godly influence he left in each life he touched. One day, we will see him again, hear that signature whistle, and that familiar greeting “Hey Babe”.

Pallbearers will be Tony Forbes, Logan Cammack, Don Dison, Stewart Beatty, Johnny Rowland and Charlie Heller.

Honorary pallbearers will be deacons of Heflin Baptist Church, Halvin Carodine, Norman Soulis and dearest friends Kelly Chance and Tommy Russell.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Heflin Baptist Church Youth Fund or Heflin Baptist Church Building Fund, 143 S. Church Street, Heflin, Louisiana 71039.

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