John H. Austin

East Lansing, Michigan

John H. Austin died December 22, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Velma, his four children, Gerald Austin (Kathy), Douglas Austin (Agustin Montalvo), Marjorie Austin, and Ronald Austin, grandchildren Kate Mills (Mark), Christopher Austin, Matt Austin (Barry Hanley), Melissa Austin, Maggie Haviland (Adam), Julie Austin (Freddie Feliz), Liz Austin, and Dana Kristl (Sean), great-grandchildren Bodhi Mills, Tucker Mills, Ben Haviland, Alex Feliz, Ronan Haviland, Marisol Feliz, several nieces and nephews and their families, loving and compassionate caregivers and staff at Burcham Hills, and Patti Austin, Mary Ann Austin, Thatcher Mills and Nick Mills, and his barber, Jack.

John was born June 27, 1917, to J.C. and Bessie Austin in Detroit, and lived in Royal Oak until his retirement from Federal Mogul Corporation in 1982, when he and Velma moved to a home they built on Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City, eventually relocating to East Lansing in 2008. John received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State College in 1938, and worked as a sales engineer in the automotive industry throughout his career. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church in Royal Oak, and was elected Royal Oak City Commissioner for 12 years. He also served on the Planning Commission for 14 years. He continued his church affiliation in Traverse City, and also volunteered countless hours to the restoration of the log house on Old Mission Peninsula. He will be remembered most for his endless love of Velma and the rest of his family, and will be deeply missed by all of us.

John will be interred in Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak, as part of a family celebration of his life. Date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, Velma would appreciate donations in memory of John to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Jim Ellison
December 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

I am sorry to hear of Mr Austin’s passing. He along with John Osgood were a large influence on my interest in Royal Oak city government. I followed his lead and am still involved as Mayor. I to this day cite his influence on my life and my decision to enter politics. My condolences to the family.


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