OBITUARY

Charles K. Austin

November 22, 1944April 10, 2018

Charles K. Austin, age 73, of South Dartmouth, died peacefully at home Tuesday morning with his Beloved wife Linda by his side.

Charles (or Charlie as he was called by friends and family) was born on November 22, 1944 in Worcester, Massachusetts and spent his childhood in Ayer. Charlie and Linda raised their family in Lexington before settling in Padanaram Village (South Dartmouth) in 1999.

The youngest of four, Charlie was the son of Charles B. and Marion Austin. In her later years, his mother was a well-known humanitarian, opening an orphanage and school in Haiti.

Charles served in the Army and worked as an entertainer in the folk music scene; performing in coffee houses and clubs in Boston, Greenwich Village, and St. Thomas. Charles met his wife, Linda, during a tour in St. Thomas; they were married in January 1967.

In 1968 Mr. Austin began his career as a prominent and widely respected Broadcast Journalist in Boston; working at WBZ-TV 4 as a film editor, anchorman, and street reporter. He received an Emmy in 1970 for a documentary studying violence in Africa, and a Gilda Radner Award in 1997 for his inspirational role as a cancer survivor. Mr. Austin, whose daughter Danielle was born with Down syndrome, was also inducted into the Massachusetts Special Olympics Hall of Fame.

Charlie was a man of faith and integrity; he read his Bible every morning and was known to proclaim the phrase “God is good, all the time.” As a prominent member of the Grace Chapel choir (Lexington) and a performer in Langston Hughes's Black Nativity in Boston, Charlie used his resounding baritone voice for praise. A spiritual man of God, he cherished life, often quoting the phrase, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift... that's why it is called the present.”

Austin retired in 2000 and was inducted in 2011 into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He also received a Silver Circle award from the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television and Sciences for his contributions to the medium and those entering careers in the field.

Charlie was an avid sports fan who loved cheering for the Red Sox and watching golf. He also looked forward to playing golf at the Back Nine when the weather cooperated. Charlie and Linda enjoyed spending time with family. Family gatherings often included singing, dancing, sharing stories and laughter, always laughter.

A memorial service in Boston will be announced for Mr. Austin, who in addition to his wife, Linda, and daughter Danielle, who lives in Fairhaven, leaves his daughters Lisa Coole of Bridgewater and Amy Sheppard of Madison, N.J.; a sister, Adrienne Mack of Winchester; and five grandchildren who affectionately referred to him as “Papa,” Amy Coole, Austin Coole, Jaime Sheppard, Jackie Sheppard and Sidney Sheppard.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Massachusetts Special Olympics www.specialolympicsma.org

For online tributes please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com

Services

  • Memorial Service in Boston to be announced
REMEMBERING

Charles K. Austin

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DON WEST

April 16, 2018

Charlie was a friend, in music and in the challenges of life.......always with a good word marinated in wisdom ~ I will miss his physical presence, but his spiritual self remains everlasting

Wayne Saya

April 14, 2018

During my Father's (Ralph Saya) retirement in 1983 - Charlie Austin nominated my father as the only known television film editor to be recognized by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). Although I have a number of stories regarding Dad and Charlie, I'll share one: In February of 1983 I was out of town and it was impossible for me to attend my father's WBZ-TV retirement party. While talking to Charlie on the phone that February afternoon (there was little to no internet back then) I explained to Charlie my dilemma. Charlie said "I tell ya what, I'll bring the party to you!" - I was to watch the 6:00pm news that evening. At the end of the news broadcast, there it was - Charlie handing my Father a custom inscribed film editing device from AFTRA, with the news broadcast saying good-bye to Dad after over 30-years of service. You see, when I was around 13 I remember Charlie working in the Film Department under my Dad - another story for another time, but when I asked Dad who the new guy was, Dad said Gordon says the station has plans for him. Now I never knew who Gordon Swan was, but I remember Dad was very deliberate when he told me. Charlie - Thank you for singing at Dad's funeral!

Jeff Grove

April 13, 2018

To the Austin family, my sincerest condolences on Charlie's passing. Know that he will be missed by many, many people.

Having worked in the Boston TV market I had many encounters with Charlie. His gentle manner, professionalism, and humor always brightened whatever we were covering that day. As soon as I saw Charlie on the scene it made me smile. He had such a wonderful spirit which touched everyone he met. I feel blessed to have known him.

I will miss him very much.

vincent lovegrove

April 12, 2018

last night my good friend Charlie Austin passed away. I will miss him dearly. Charlie was one of the most interesting, talented and funny people I know. He was my golf partner. He had a booming voice and performed in musicals at the Tremont Temple Christmas musicals that I and my family
had the pleasure to see. He could tell endless stories of celebrities and shaking hands with presidents

He always got to the golf course ahead of me and would be there waiting with that big smile on his face. Driving into that parking lot will never be the same. I will miss him dearly.

Lisa Schuhmacher

April 12, 2018

I had the privilege of sitting in front of Charlie in choir at Grace Chapel for years. Oh, the fun we had. His mischief, love, teasing, kindness, and voice - oh, the voice! No one could sing Deep River like he did. The love he had for his family and friends, caused him to glow. The love he had for His Savior, an example to all of us. I made him promise, if he got to 'God's choir loft' before I did that he would save me the seat in front of him. Thank you Austin's and the rest of his family for sharing him with all of us. May you be overwhelmed by God's comfort and peace during this time and surrounded by His love. May all the shared memories leave smiles on your faces and bring joy to your hearts. And Charlie, 'til we meet again friend.

Michael Solomon

April 11, 2018

To the family and friends of Mr. Austin, please accept my sincere condolences. Mr. Austin was by far one of the finest orators in Boston. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Austin, however watching him on television made me feel like I knew him. He was a class act. We'll miss "Charlie".

Cheryl Forbes-Kenney

April 11, 2018

I sang in the Grace Chapel Choir with Charlie for several years. He was a Godly man who knew how to worship and praise God, as well as have fun. It was a blessing to have known him.

FROM THE FAMILY