Alexander Tilden Austin, formerly of Charlotte and a resident of Fort Mill, known by his nicknames A.T., Tee and Alex, was taken into the arms of his Lord and Savior in the early dawn light on Monday, May 31, 2021 – Memorial Day – at the Levine and Dickson Hospice House at Aldersgate following an extended illness at home.
A.T.’s memorial service was held at high noon on Friday, June 4th at Philadelphia United Methodist Church in Fort Mill, preceded by a visitation with the family in the church fellowship hall and followed by a private graveside service at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte. Funeral services were provided by Palmetto Funeral Home in Fort Mill. His favorite western hero, Clint Eastwood, stood silently in attendance, a faded but still larger than life plywood cut-out made by one of A.T.’s best friends years ago to guard the family garage.
A.T. was the beloved only child of Arthur Tilden Austin and Katherine Ross Austin and the devoted husband of his high school sweetheart and wife of 51 years, Eleanor Elaine Pierce, all of whom preceded him in death and have surely now reunited with him in Heaven. He was the faithful father of survivors Kimberly Elaine Austin and Susan Austin Farris, gracious father-in-law to Evan Farris, and proud grandfather of Austin, Sean and Leah Farris.
He will also be dearly missed by his closest living cousins Ron Austin, Virginia Price, Stoke Caldwell, Annie Trinkle, Diane Lawson Lagace and David Lawson, his sisters-in-law Dee Pierce Parker and Gladys Pierce, brother-in-law Charles Parker and the many Pierce kin, on earth and in Heaven, who became his loving and loyal extended family.
As an only child whose parents had to work long hours during the Depression, spending time with his grandparents and cousins during the summers in his youth and then finding a second home in his wife Elaine’s large family were some of the greatest joys of his life.
A.T. also leaves behind many good friends he made during his 40-year career as a textile sales executive with Dupont and Dixie Yarns, at Philadelphia United Methodist Church, where he and Elaine joined after retiring to Fort Mill in 2004, and in his neighborhood where he was known for his love of people, his sense of humor and walks with his best dog buddy Ewok.
His accomplishments included a BBA with honors from Wake Forest University, where he was also awarded membership in the National Society of Scabbard and Blade and served as vice-president of Lambda Chi fraternity; completion of the textile school certificate at NC State; and course work toward an MBA from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. As a young husband and father, A.T. proudly served 8 years active duty as a Captain in the Army Reserves out of Fort Benning, Georgia.
During his last years, and especially in the final weeks of his life, A.T. pushed through unrelenting physical pain and then shortness of breath with almost superhuman strength, courage and determination. His love of life carried him through to the end so that he could see his beloved family and friends one last time before finally allowing himself to rest.
A.T. loved his Lord, his family, his friends and his country. With all his heart, he prayed daily to know the joys of Heaven, wash the feet of his Lord, and be with his wife and parents again. Now, with all our hearts, we pray that his dream of Heaven has come true, as God promises, and is even more beautiful than this good son ever dreamed it would be. God bless you and keep you always, Dad. I love you and miss you. Please give my love to Mom and all our loved ones there with you.
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