Cyril Kenneth “Kenny” Austin, age 87, of West Frankfort, Illinois, passed away at 8:55 a.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2016, at Helia Healthcare in Energy, Illinois.
Mr. Austin was born to Lena (Bishop) and Lewman L. Austin in Carmi, Illinois on October 7, 1928. He was raised on a large farm near Norris City, Illinois, until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945. He served in the United States Navy until October 9, 1981. He was a recipient of the American Area Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, China Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal. He completed his service at the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He and his brothers, Glen and Ivan, served their country during World War II. He married Margaret Gustafson of California and had two children, George and Gail Austin. Margaret preceded him in death. He returned to Southern Illinois, where he met and married Phyllis Jean Bradley on May 3, 1968 in Tennessee and joined she and her son, Garland, in West Frankfort, Illinois. Cyril and Phyllis had Tom and John together. Phyllis preceded Cyril in death on November 7, 2000. He was responsible for the first charter of the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post in West Frankfort Illinois.
Mr. Austin is survived by his children, George Austin and Gail Austin of Southern California, Garland Austin of West Frankfort, Illinois, Thomas Austin and wife Allison (Crain) Austin of Centralia, Illinois and John Austin of West Frankfort, Illinois, grandchildren, Nicole Adelle Rich and Natalia Amber Jones of California, Sarah Margaret Austin of Ohio, Garland Wayne Austin, Heather Austin and Mandy Austin of West Frankfort, Illinois, Jordan Kleine of West Frankfort, Illinois and Christopher Crain of Centralia, Illinois, great grandchildren, Dalton Austin of West Frankfort, Illinois, Marah Elizabeth Coles of Carbondale, Illinois and his newest great-grandchild Owen Kleine of West Frankfort, Illinois and a sister Alice Ann Gerdes of Henderson, Kentucky and many nieces and nephews in the Carmi and Norris City, Illinois area that include Gail Barton and Alice Ann Chapman.
Mr. Austin was preceded in death by his parents, Lena and Lewman L. Austin, wife, Margaret Austin and wife, Phyllis Jean Austin, brothers, Bernard Austin, Ivan Austin, Glen Austin, Eddie Austin and sister, Fern (Austin) Chapman.
Mr. Austin shared with his family a strong sense of discipline, work ethic and patriotism. He liked listening to country music and his favorite musician Buck Owens and watching Hee Haw on the television. He was an avid sports fan, who followed the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was an amateur handicapper for the horse races. He enjoyed the Art of Debating, especially with his daughter-in-law, Allison. He cherished the time he spent his family and was very close to his brothers and sisters.
Mr. Austin was a correctional officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections from 1968 to 1981, where he was stationed at the Stateville Correctional Center and Mendard Correctional Center. He retired as a correctional sergeant from Stateville Correction Center in the early 1980’s.
A private graveside service will be held for the family on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at the Ditney Ridge Cemetery in Norris City, Illinois with Pastor Dennis Reed officiating. Military honors accorded by the Carmi American Legion Post # 224 and V.F.W. Post # 3851. Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Austin’s memory to the charity of donor’s choice and will be received at Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia, Illinois. Please view the online obituary, send condolences or share memories with Mr. Austin’s family at www.moranfuneralhome.net or on Facebook.