Obituary of Roberta Jones Austin
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Roberta Jones Austin, 92, died peacefully at home in Boone, NC on September 21.
She was born July 28, 1930 in Pinellas County, FL, and grew up in Bartow and Ocala.
She traveled to Boone in 1952 to appear in the first production of "Horn in
the West" and married Ned Austin, who played Daniel Boone. The couple moved to
New York City, returning to Boone in the summers of 1953 and 1954 to appear again in
the outdoor drama.
The family moved to Denver, CO and lived there 20 years. In addition to raising six
children, Mrs. Austin also taught school, sang as a folk singer and in choirs and musicals,
and taught piano. The family returned to Boone, where she taught at Hardin Park Elementary
School, earned a master's degree at ASU, and retired in 1996 after 23 years of teaching.
In 1992 she was selected NC Teacher of the World and won a trip to Russia, taking with her
two of her grandsons, Grant and Jordan Austin.
Roberta was a member of Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for many years,
Co-President of PFLAG of Boone, and a volunteer instructor of English as a Second Language with
High Country Amigos. With a passion for music, teaching, and learning, she saw greatness in every student she taught. With her eldest son's assistance, at the age of 89 she self-published "Granddaddy's Memoirs," and her own memoir, "Are We There Yet?" In her final week of life, she declared, "I want to write more." She left behind notes for her next book, "We're On Our Way!" Roberta is survived by children David Austin (Perri), Robin Austin (Ann Austin, deceased)
(Luanne Fleming), Sam Austin (Barry Fecarotta), Frances Austin (Ray Davis), Genevieve Austin, and Laura Bryant (Thomas, deceased) (Jeff Hanna). She is also survived by sister-in-law Elaine Jones. Gifted with twelve grandchildren: Grant Austin (Joie), Jordan Austin (deceased), Noelle Brown (Sam), James Austin (Silver), Corwin Henville (Victoria Crutchfield), Adah Henville, twin sister Sarah Henville (deceased), Austin Bryant, Champ Bryant (fiancée Lauren Engley), Edward Austin, Clara Austin, and Tristan Russell. She was blessed with six great-grandchildren, Noa Grace Hoffman, Connor and Jasper O'Brien, Daisy and Sam Austin and Annie Rose Brown. Also surviving are many beloved maternal and paternal nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by parents Rev. W. Ted and Eloise Jones, husband Ned P. Austin, brother Ted Jones and sister Carol Hay (Dr. and Rev. L.S. Hay) and several beloved paternal and maternal cousins.
The family wishes to thank dear friends Ben Edwards, Toby Stoetzer, Paul Smith, Amorem nurse
Ginger Warren, Medi Home Hospice nurses Holly, Kristina, Tammy and Lindsay, music therapist Sarah Lillian and Social Workers Chris and Amanda for their loving care and support throughout Roberta's final days/hours/minute.
Visitation with family and friends will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a memorial Celebration of Life
ceremony to follow for Mrs. Roberta Austin on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at the Boone Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall located at 381 E. King St. in Boone, NC 28607. Dr. Ben Edwards is the officiant.