Harold “Bunny” Austin, Jr. 94 of Clement Rd., Long Lake, NY passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord Saturday morning, July 9th, 2022.
Born on June 29th, 1928 in Long Lake, he was the son of the late Harold Merlin Austin and Ethel May Parker. He was a graduate of Long Lake Central School.
Following graduation, he worked with his grandfather as a contract carpenter. He then worked for NYSEG in Long Lake prior to joining the United States Marine Corps in 1951.
He served a full twenty years in the Marine Corps. After setting a new record on the rifle range as a recruit, he was made a Riflery Instructor at Paris Island, where he coached hundreds of infantrymen in the art of marksmanship. In 1953 he seized on a rare opportunity to go to Flight School, seldom offered to enlisted men. He and one other enlisted man succeeded in becoming pilots and officers. His life changed forever. He flew the F3D Skynight, an all-weather fighter-bomber interceptor, and during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he flew the F8U, a photo reconnaissance jet. He served two tours in Japan, and he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam war.
After retiring from the USMC, and returning to Long Lake, he worked as a carpenter and guideboat builder for a couple years before taking a job as Superintendent of Maintenance at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. While at the museum, he built three more guideboats in their boat shop.
After six years at the Museum Bunny followed the Lord’s call to become a pastor. So, at the age of 51, he and Evie, moved to United Wesleyan College in Allentown, PA, where he graduated with honors in three years. He then served as pastor at the Brant Lake Wesleyan Church for eleven years. Bunny and Evie then served for three years in Holzkirchen, Germany as pastor of the Bavarian International Christian Fellowship, before retiring in 1995. He did however, continue as a Supply Pastor for many more years and officiated many weddings and funerals.
Bunny enjoyed woodworking, flying, building guideboats, building rifles, building and flying model airplanes, cabinet work and sport shooting.
He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Evelyn R. (Bump) Austin on December 21st, 2011, two grandsons, Caleb Austin and Craig Austin, a great grandson Hunter Austin and his sister Diana Wright.
Survivors include his second wife, Solange (Turcotte) Austin; four sons, with his first wife: Robert (Charlotte) Austin of Williston, NC, Glenn (Annie) Austin of Long Lake, NY, Michael (Melanie) Austin of North River, NC, and Kevin (Cindy) Austin of Poděbrady, Czech Republic; one brother: Gordon Austin of Long Lake, NY; thirteen grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Solange’s family: Sylvia (Randy) Larose of Warrensburg, NY, Allen (Jane) Turcotte of Glens Falls, NY and Steven (Rochelle) Turcotte of Corinth, NY and their families. He will also be greatly missed by his nieces and nephews, and their families.
Friends may call Tuesday, July 12th, 2022 from 12:30pm to 2:00pm at the Long Lake Wesleyan Church in Long Lake, NY.
Funeral services will immediately follow the visitation at 2:00pm.
Burial with Military Honors will be conducted at 3:00pm on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022, at the Long Lake Cemetery.
Contributions in Bunny’s memory may be directed to the Long Lake Wesleyan Church, PO Box 322, Long Lake, NY 12847 or the Adirondack Bible Fellowship, 8 Winebrook Circle, Newcomb, NY 12852.