Donald E. Austin

November 11, 1919July 20, 2013

Donald Earl Austin of Swansea died peacefully on July 20th, 2013, at the age of 93 with his daughter Dorothy Austin and daughter-in-law Diana Eck at his side, in their home on Seaview Avenue, in Swansea. Donald’s wife Bessie is currently in residence at Somerset Ridge recuperating from a broken leg.

Donald was born in Albany, New York on November 11, 1919, the son of Edward Austin and Flora Malonson Austin of Swansea. He grew up in Fall River, graduating from B.M.C. Durfee High School, and married Bessie Corner, daughter of Joseph and Ada Corner of Fall River on June 21, 1941. He served in the Coast Guard during World War II, after which he went to work for Hemingway Trucking and eventually became partner in his own business, Danis Transportation Company, until his retirement.

In addition to his masterful knowledge of the world of trucking, Donald was an avid fisherman and sportsman. He had great times with his buddies, fishing and hunting. His sport fishing boat, the Dolphin, was harbored at Brewer's Marina in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and with his many friends, he fished for swordfish and tuna in the Grand Banks, and in the waters of Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, and Southern New England. He was also a member of the Swansea Sportsmen’s Club.

Donald leaves his wife of seventy-two years, Bessie Austin, of Swansea, his daughter, The Reverend Dr. Dorothy A. Austin of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Swansea, his daughter-in-law, Professor Diana L. Eck of Cambridge and their family, Amella, Aida, Kreshnik, and Sokol Zejnullahu. Donald’s two sisters, Mary Turner and Dorothy Eddy, predeceased Donald. His nephews, Wayne and Peter Goss and William and Edward Turner remember Donald lovingly as Uncle Duck.

Donald was a wonderful storyteller with a detailed memory of events and adventures decades past. In addition to his family, he leaves a legion of friends and associates in Swansea and the Fall River area, with whom he engaged in countless projects. He enjoyed driving to New Bedford or Westport to get the latest catch from the fishing boats for neighbors and friends. He loved restoring old cars with his good friend Eddy Pereira, and he loved hunting with Lt. John Walsh.

Donald was a man who loved projects. “I always need projects to keep going,” he said. In his eighties, his favorite project was commandeering the re-building of his daughter’s house in Swansea, with a crew of great good fellows, Armand Corriveau and Richard Nawrocki, Uncle Jack Eddy, and cousin Billy Turner. It was from that house, looking out at Mt. Hope Bay, that Donald made his last and final voyage out to sea. He will be missed by all who remember his larger-than-life spirit.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Christopher Lebo and Beacon Hospice, especially those who cared for him throughout, Leah, Nicole, Wanda, Monique, and team.

The memorial service for Donald Austin will be on August 17th at 11:00 at Waring-Sullivan Home of Memorial Tribute at 189 Gardner’s Neck Road, Swansea, followed by a celebratory lunch at Dorothy’s house at 346 Seaview Avenue immediately following the service to which all are invited.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, August 17, 2013

Donald E. Austin

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Francesco Scaramuzzi

August 10, 2013

I worked for Don at Hemingway Transportation; Don was my boss, my mentor and a good friend. I will miss his positive, strong, good attitude and the good times fishing aboad the Dolphin.

charles mcdonald

August 5, 2013

i,m lighting this candle for don for paul peloquin who worked with don at hemmingway and were good friends for many years paul passed away a day after don. i,m paul,s son chuck mcdonald

July 26, 2013

My deepest sympathy in your time of sorrow. Keep God's precious promises in mind. May the god of peace comfort you.
H. McCoy

July 26, 2013

I'm sorry for your loss. May God give you and your family peace in your time of sorrow.

Ms Porter

The Flying Nun

July 25, 2013

I will miss his charming smile, his colorful expressions and his love for life. He was the Big Fish!