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 assistant women’s basketball coach with Jim Smiddy during the years 1964 thru 1976, winning 4 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 the Bradley Central High School. In 1951, he joined the 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; brothers: Roy and Bill Austin; a sister Martha Ann Mullins; and a special great-aunt, Jamie Hankins.
He was a member of the Keith Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Anne Catron Austin of Athens; his daughter, Patty Phillips and her husband, Barry, of Cleveland; sons: Greg Austin and his wife, Pam, of Athens, 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, Mary Alden Miller; stepdaughters: Staci Lynne Catron of Atlanta and Sara Catron-Cox of Knoxville; 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 held at 1 p.m. today, Feb. 28, 2013, at the North Chapel of Jim Rush Funeral Homes with the Rev. Dennie Humphreys of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church officiating.
The family will have visitation at the funeral home Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The family requests that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in memory of Leon.
There will be a private burial service at a later date.
Please share your memories and condolences with Mr. Austin’s family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.