July 02, 1934 - May 15, 2013
July 02, 1934 - May 15, 2013
Johnny L. Austin, 78, of Atkins, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock. He was born July 2, 1934, in Bells Chapel, the son of Dilton and Opal Kendrick Austin. He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, always had a story to share, and gave a lifetime of service to his community.
J.L. was a volunteer fireman for 27 years and served Atkins through his involvement in countless community organizations and activities, including youth sports and coaching, the Jaycees, Conglomeration, and Picklefest. He was a member of the Water Commission, Housing Authority, and was active with the People for a Better Atkins (PBA) until health prevented him from further involvement – and even then, he helped more! He was recognized as the PBA Citizen of the Year. He emceed numerous events ranging from beauty pageants to rodeos, and his gift of gab was evident.
He was also well known as the owner and operator of the Main Street Barber Shop, where he developed many friendships over the years. His young grandson came home after a weekend visit and said, “Papaw knows everyone!” And one thing about J.L.: if he didn’t know you initially, he knew you when you left, and he didn’t forget you! He would regularly run into people in other states that he had met through the years. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, gardening and piddling, and he loved fishing with his wife, Carlene.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Jerry Austin and Donald Austin.
He is survived by his wife, Carlene Stubbs Austin; 3 children, Bobby (Janice) Austin of Bedford, TX, Phillip (Kim) Austin of Greenbrier, and Carol (Jerald) James of Conway; 7 grandchildren, Katie (Shane) Miller, Mitchell (Kate) Austin, Dilton (Natalie) Austin, Alora Austin, Matthew James, Steven James and Aaron Latta; 3 great-grandchildren, Roman Miller, Warren Austin and Baby Deacon Miller; and a brother, Rev. Sam (Bobbye) Austin.
Funeral services are 1:00 PM, Saturday, May 18, at Union Grove Free Will Baptist Church in Atkins with Rev. David Bishop officiating. Burial is in Atkins City Cemetery by Lemley Funeral Service of Atkins. Visitation is from 6:00-8:00 PM Friday at Lemley Chapel.
Pallbearers are Aaron Latta, Matthew James, Steven James, Mitchell Austin, Tommy Joe Stubbs and Eddie Martin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his honor to Gideons International, P.O. Box 10403, Russellville, AR 72812, or to the American Cancer Society, c/o Judy Murphy, Pope County Memorial Chair, 126 Lakeview Circle, Russellville, Arkansas 72802.
Online obituary and condolences are available at www.lemleyfuneral.com.
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