TRAVERSE CITY — Donald Dee Austin, Jr. passed away peacefully on Dec. 7, 2013. He was born June 8, 1926 in Detroit to the late Donald and Lula Mae (Moseby) Austin, Sr. Don will be dearly missed by his wife of 63 years Loraine (Barnowski), children John (Kathy), David (Debbie), Amy, and grandchildren Ben (Carrie), Kayla, and Jessica.
Don graduated from Denby High School in Detroit where he was active in Boy Scouts, and upon graduation served as an electrician in the U.S. Navy aboard an LSM (Landing Ship Medium) during World War II. Following his service he attended Lawrence Tech and then worked at Western Union where he met his bride. He worked at Detroit Edison for 34 years before retiring in 1986. He raised his family in Birmingham, Mich. where he coached Little League baseball and was active at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church.
After several years vacationing at their cottage on Lake Leelanau, Don and Loraine relocated permanently to the lake in 1990 and joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City.
A friendly, kind and gentle man, Don lived his life and raised his family with integrity and high moral principles, reflecting the character of Jesus to all those around him in every area of his life.
Don had a lifelong interest in auto racing, passed down from his father, and in 2002 he acquired a 1937 midget race car and spent several years restoring it to its original condition. He took pride in taking it to antique car shows and on his 80th birthday was able to run the car at Cherry Speedway.
The family will receive visitors from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12 at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Traverse City. A funeral service will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13 with visitation one hour prior at Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City. The committal service will be held at Bingham Cemetery in May.
Memorials may be made in memory of Don Austin to the Trinity Lutheran Church Memorial Fund or the Trinity Lutheran School Scholarship Fund.
Please share your thoughts and memories of Don with his family by way of his online guest book at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.