Feb 25, 2013
Feb. 25, 2013
Leon Austin, 80, a lifelong resident of Bradley County, and most recently of Athens, died Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.
He started his tenure with the Bradley County School System in 1957, where he taught at Bradley Central High School. He moved to the administrative offices and served in several positions including assistant superintendent to Bill Walker. He was also an assistant women\'s basketball coach with Jim Smiddy during the years 1964 through 1976, winning four state championships.
He also served 12 years as a county commissioner, where he was instrumental in getting the Tri-State Exhibition Center going and helping to defeat the proposed landfill in the Sixth District in Bradley County. He served on the boards of Bradley Memorial Hospital and Bradley County Nursing Home.
He was a 1950 graduate of Bradley Central High School. In 1951, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. After being discharged from active duty, he served in the Air Force Reserves for 10 years.
His passion was horses, being a well-known trainer of Racking Horses and Hackney Ponies. He trained a seven-time World Grand Champion Racking Horse named \"Little Man.\"
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Cavett Austin; his parents, William Albert and Nellie Bell Austin; two brothers, Roy and Bill Austin; one sister, Martha Ann Mullins; and a special great aunt, Jamie Hankins. He was a member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Anne Catron Austin of Athens; one daughter, Patty Phillips and her husband, Barry, of Cleveland; two sons, Greg Austin and his wife, Pam, of Athens, and Gary Austin and his wife, Shelley, of Cleveland; grandchildren, Paige Goins, Dustin Phillips, Amanda Miller, Kelley Ann Austin, Cameron Austin, Chase Austin, Rollins Austin, Abram Austin, Caleb Pierce, Callie Pierce, Harrison Kincaid and Onise Cox; great-grandchildren, Gabe Phillips, Andrew Bunch, Jacob Phillips, Hunter Goins, Morgan Miller and Mary and Alden Miller; stepdaughters, Staci Lynne Catron of Atlanta, Ga., and Sara Catron-Cox of Knoxville; two sisters, Carlene Branham of Benton, and Betty Johnson of Cleveland; several nieces and nephews; and a special friend, John Hayes.
A Remembrance of Life Service will be 1 p.m. Thursday in the North Chapel of Jim Rush Funeral Home with the Rev. Dennie Humphreys of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church officiating.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
There will be a private burial service at a later date.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to the charity of your choice in memory of Leon.
Share your memories and condolences with the family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com
Jim Rush Funeral Home of Cleveland is in charge of arrangements.