Richard C. “Dick” Austin, 86, of Fernandina Beach FL, formerly of Wyoming DE, died peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Monday, December 11, 2017.
Born 1931 in Glendale, Long Island, he was the son of Henry and Augusta Austin. His family settled in Marydel and he attended Greensboro and Dover High Schools. He attended St. Charles seminary then returned home to join his family’s electrical business, becoming licensed at a young age. Richard met and fell in love with the former Gertrude “Trudy” Sowada, of Marydel, and they were married on June 2, 1951. They settled in Wyoming and built a large family. At 34, Richard became the General Foreman of electrical construction for the “new” General Foods plant and was subsequently hired by the company. He remained with GF until the late 60’s when he joined partners to form Diamond State Electrical Construction Company and Diamond State Engineering and Design. He became very active in local politics. Blessed with a silver tongue, he recorded countless radio spots for the Kent County Democrat Party through the 60’s and 70’s. He was a member of Holy Cross church, where he implemented and performed the very first guitar masses. In 1976, he moved with his family to the Poconos to operate a family vacation resort. He and Trudy retired to Myrtle Beach, SC. and eventually moved to Fernandina Beach, FL to be near family. While cancer may have taken him physically, his heart was broken after Trudy’s death in 2014.
In addition to his wife, he is predeceased by brothers Howard and Kenneth. He is survived by his brother George, of Camden and seven children: Christopher (Judy) of Marydel, Kathleen Garner, Timothy Austin, and Mary (Woody) Harris all of Fernandina Beach, Daniel (Marion) of Tunkhannock PA, Patricia (Glenn)Virdin of Camden, and Meg (Ed) Hughes of Kettering, OH. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, all of whom were the light of his life.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Monday, January 8, 2018 at Oxley-Heard Funeral Directors.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Mission in Yulee, FL., with Father Rafal Mazurowski officiating.