McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 24, 2013

Wayne Lloyd Austin

McALESTER — Wayne Lloyd Austin, 87, of Wilburton, died Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Round Rock, Texas.

Family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Jones-Harkins Funeral Home in Wilburton.

A Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jones-Harkins Chapel with Frank Wilson and Logan Cates officiating. Masonic services will be conducted by Mark Halyard. Burial will be at  Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Wilburton. Military honors will be provided by United States Air Force. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Harkins Funeral Home of Wilburton.

Born April 14, 1926, in Whitesboro, he was the son of Lester William and Lillian Ethel (Biggs) Austin. He moved with his family to Airdale, 4 miles west of Red Oak, around 1929 to 1930. He attended Panola Public School, graduating in 1944.

Prior to graduation, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp. He served his country for nine years from 1944 to 1953, during World War II and in Tokyo, Japan in the Army of Occupation. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

He was a graduate of Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa. He obtained his private pilot’s license in 1948.

He married Barbara Jean Ward, of Leflore, on Dec. 18, 1947, in Red Oak. Prior to their return to southeast Oklahoma, he worked in Oklahoma City for the Federal Aviation Administration as an aeronautical engineer. He retired from the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot in 1986.

He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He designed, built and successfully flew his own plane for more than 30 years.

He was a 32nd degree Mason, involved in the World Bible School in Kenya and a member of the Church of Christ.

He enjoyed spending time with his wife and called her his “co-pilot in life.” His favorite pastimes were flying, hunting, John Wayne movies, reading and spending time in his workshop.

He played a variety of instruments and music was always an important part of his life. His most treasured memories were those made with his family and friends. Some of his favorite times were family vacations and trips with his wife elk hunting in New Mexico.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Austin, of the home; two daughters, Wynema Austin, of Norman, and Brenda Hix and husband, Larry, Southlake, Texas; granddaughters, Staci Hix-Hernandez and husband, Jeremy, Round Rock, Texas, and Amberly Hix, Lubbock, Texas.

Also, grandsons, Damion Smith and Taylor Smith, both of Norman; great-grandson, Jackson Wayne Hernandez, Round Rock, Texas, and brother, Royal Francis Austin and wife, Norma, of Bristow.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester William and Lillian Ethel Austin; sister, DeLoyce Stephens; brother-in-law, Jimmy Stephens; brother, Lenford Don Austin, and son-in-law, Harold Frederick Richhart.

Pallbearers will be Larry Hix, Jeremy Hernandez, Steve Fair, Lane Jeffrey, Latt Jeffrey and Joe Mack McAlester.

Honorary pallbearers will be Kenneth Austin, Spanky Browne, David Pryor, Leland Walker, Mike Ward, Ronnie Ward, Charles White and Leslie White.