David N. Austin, age 93 of Delavan, Wi., recently of Sylvan Crossings on Hunters Ridge, Beaver Dam, Wi., passed away Monday February 25, 2013. David was born in Janesville, Wi., October 27, 1919, the son of Wilbur and Beatrice (Whitney) Austin. He graduated from Janesville High School in 1936 and attended the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Short Course in 1939. He was employed as a milk tester for thirty farmers under the auspices of the Rock County Milking Shorthorn Association. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, David enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the South Pacific War Theater until 1944, as a Sergeant and a Gun Captain of an anti-aircraft crew. While on furlough back in the states he married Margaret Sturtevant at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on May 9, 1945. The following day he found himself unexpectedly placed in an overseas draft and was ordered to board a troop train bound for California and deployment back to the war front. While on ship heading for Okinawa, the war ended with the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The build up for the planned invasion of Japan was ended.
David was discharged from the service and for the next 15 years operated a dairy farm west of Delavan, Wi. along with Margaret's father. In the meantime, he commuted toMilwaukee with his brother Bill to study photography, which had been a life-long hobby, at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
In 1962 they sold the farm and moved to Delavan where David opened Austin Studio. During the next 22 years he took family photos, high school graduation and wedding photos and won many awards for excellence from the National Photographers Association for his photographs. He sold the studio and retired in 1984. David was a life-long gardener. His strawberries, tomatoes and other vegetables, he loved to share with family and friends. He was an avid hunter of both deer and grouse and always looked forward to spending time with his son and hunting buddies up north. He was a daily member of the "coffee crew" at the Travelers Restaurant and later the Family Restaurant in Delavan. David was an active member of the United Methodist Church, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and a mentor helping elementary pupils at Wileman School. He was past president of the Delavan Rotary Club as well as the Delavan Kiwanis Club. David is preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, a daughter, Mary Austin Meeuwsen, his parents, and brothers Wilbur and Robert Austin. He is survived by his son, David Robert Austin of Columbus, Wi., grandchildren, Laura (Alex) Hoekstra of Waupun, Wi. and Joshua (Mindy) Austin of Columbus, Wi. Great-grandchildren; Mackenzie and Brock Hoekstra and Spencer, Lexi, Lilly Austin. A sister, Jo (John) Draeger, a brother John (Annette) Austin. Many nieces and nephews and cousins also survive.
A Memorial Service will be 11:00am Friday March 1, 2013 at the United Methodist Church of Delavan, with Rev. Stan Curtis officiating. Memorials may be directed to the UW Carbon Cancer Center, 600 Highland Ave. Madison, Wi. 53792. MONROE FUNERAL HOME in Delavan, Wi. is assiting the family. Visit us at monroefh.com