East Lawn Palms Mortuary & Cemetery

5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ


Douglas C Austin

November 4, 1941September 10, 2019

Douglas Charles John Austin passed away September 10 at Pathways Hospice, surrounded by his loving family.

Doug was born November 4, 1941 in Belleville, Ont., Canada, the eldest child of Neville and Magdalena Austin. After his father’s service in the Canadian Air Force, the family moved back to their home province of Saskatchewan where his father completed his degree in education. Neville followed his career in a number of small towns as principal and where the Austin children learned to adjust to new environments and friends. In Lashburn High School, Doug met his future wife, Jean Retzlaff, to whom he was happily married for fifty four years. After attending the University of Saskatchewan and earning his B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Doug took his first job with Saskatchewan Power in Regina. In 1968 he took a job with Noranda Mines at Colonsay, near Saskatoon and thus began his illustrious 50 year career in the field of mining. In 1973 Doug accepted a job with Mountain States Engineers out of Tucson and travelled with his family to Perth, then Windarra, Australia for a two year stint to engineer and supervise construction and help with startup of a large nickel mine. After a short return to Tucson, the family again relocated to Saskatoon to the mine, now called “Central Canada Potash” where Doug took the position of Plant Engineer. In 1977 Doug returned to Mountain States Engineers as a project engineer on the Benguet project in the Philippines, where again the family relocated first to Manila, then to Zambales and where Doug helped with startup of the large copper and gold mine. Shortly after Doug was asked to manage the company “A.H. Ross” in Toronto. After the Austin family’s return to Tucson in 1984, Doug worked for Mountain States as a “Project Manager”. Doug managed projects in New Guinea, Yugoslavia and numerous jobs all over the United States. In 1988, he became a partner in M3 Engineering and Technology, becoming CEO from 1993 – 2002 and from then until his death continued as a senior VP and consultant. Doug was instrumental in opening an office in Hermosillo, Mexico and helped his company open offices in Chandler, Buenos Aires and Peru. His project experience in United States, Mexico, Canada and South America was monumental and he worked on some of the biggest mining projects in the world. His career was described as “quietly and unassumingly orchestrating major projects all over the world and his medals and plaques and accomplishments are the process plants that dot the globe.” He consulted until two weeks before his death reluctantly stopping only when his health no longer permitted him to do more. Doug was a member of SME, MMSE, CIM, NSPE, and Professional Engineers of B.C. and Ontario. Doug was an avid duplicate bridge player, earning a duplicate bronze life master. He and Jean loved to travel and taking bridge cruises and sadly planned on one more bridge cruise through the Panama Canal. He loved spending time with his family and especially loved family holiday get-togethers with as many extended family as possible. He and Jean were particularly happy in their home in San Carlos, Mexico where Doug spent a great deal of time watching the birdlife from his seaside backyard. He is survived by his wife Jean, son Wayne, daughter Leigh Wojewoda (Igor), granddaughter Elie, sisters Pat McIntosh (John) and Brenda (Ken Hugo), and nephews Kyle and Reid. A “Celebration of Life” will be held Sept. 28, 1:00 PM at East Lawn, 5801 E Grant Rd. In lieu of flowers donations in Doug’s name may be made to one of his favorite charities, “Doctors Without Borders”, or a charity of your choice.


28 September

Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

East Lawn Palms Mortuary

5801 East Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712


Douglas C Austin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Doreen Kalmakoff

September 13, 2019

I Would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Jean and family. I have fond memories of sharing the grade 9 -12 classes with Doug. He was a good friend and a brilliant classmate. It is an honour to have known such an illustrious person. His successes are due to hard work and dedication which are lessons we all learned from his dad and our principal Mr. Austin. May he sleep in peace .🙏

Cori Hoag

September 11, 2019

Condolences to Jean and to Doug's extended family, friends, and colleagues. His professional experience was vast and he mentored many in the mining industry. He was a kind, courteous gentleman. Rest in peace. May Doug's memory be eternal.