The march of time continues moving us forward, and once again I am sad to report that one of the older relatives has passed away.
Uncle Bill died on Wednesday. He outlived his wife by two years and six days; Aunt Jenny died on January 23, 2011 and Uncle Bill on January 29, 2013. He is my husband's uncle, but that makes him mine, too.
I remember Uncle Bill as a very quiet fellow. He raised bees and when we first married I recall he had hives around his house. He was also active in his church and in the local volunteer fire department. I think he was also a Mason.
He was one of those people you relied on without realizing it. A solid presence who brought a bit of calm and sense into the room. I always felt safe when he was around.
I went to school with his middle son, Alan. Aunt Jenny was a substitute teacher in the school system and I remember having her, so I have known the family for a long time. And then of course, I married James nearly 30 years ago and Alan is also a member of the Roanoke City Fire Department and works with my husband.
James and I have both been lucky to have such extended families, with aunts, uncles, and cousins in our lives. It is so heartbreaking to see them leave us one by one.
Here is Uncle Bill's obituary:
William P. (Bill) Austin, 80, of Troutville, died on Wednesday, January 30, 2013. He was born on December 4, 1932, a son of the late, Earl I. "Pete" and Isabelle Switzer Austin. He was a lifetime member of Fincastle Baptist Church and Fincastle Fire Department. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve Firebaugh Austin; and two brothers-in- law, James Firebaugh Jr. and Courtney Austin.
He is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, William Michael Austin, Alan P. Austin (Susan) and Anthony S. Austin (Angie); sisters-in-law, Nancy F. Austin and Francina F. Foster (Dale), and Eunice T. Firebaugh; grandchildren, Stephen, Ashley, Sam, Isaac, Alicia, Elijah and Wyatt; aunt, Delphine Austin; special cousins, Nettie T. Boothe and Sara T. Kadec; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.