1926 – 2015

AUBURN — Earl Bradford Austin Jr. passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Androscoggin Hospice House in Auburn, with his family by his side after 89 years of living life to the fullest.

Born on Sept. 17, 1926, in Lewiston, to Earl and Mabel Snow Austin, Earl attended Edward Little High School, graduating in 1944. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Halloran in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Earl married his bride of 67 years, Althea Naum, on June 6, 1948, and they moved to Boston so he could attend Bentley School of Accounting and Finance, from which he graduated in 1950. That year he founded Earl B. Austin, Jr. & Associates, a public accounting firm in the Auburn-Lewiston area. In 1971, the firm became incorporated, and in 1980 was renamed Austin Associates, PA Certified Public Accountants.

Earl will be remembered for his many contributions to the civic and business communities of Auburn and Lewiston. He was co-founder of the Auburn Suburban Little League, ELHS Grandstand Club, Auburn Rec Flag Football Program and the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame. He also served as President of the Auburn Grandstand Club and treasurer of the ELHS Alumni Association. He was named Auburn Citizen of the Year in 1976, received the ELHS Alumni Hall of Fame Award, the Auburn Suburban Little League Service Award in 1997 and the Auburn Grandstand Club Award in 1990. In 1993, Austin Associates was presented with the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, and in 1998 Earl was named an Auburn Economic Development Achiever. His son, Stephen, joined him in business and together they grew Austin Associates into one of the largest accounting firms in the state of Maine with the help of many loyal employees.

Earl was a member of Tranquil Lodge-Auburn and Kora Temple-Lewiston for over 60 years as a member of the Royal Order of Jesters for 40 years. He served as president of the Lewiston-Auburn Shrine Club, president and treasurer of the Kora Arab Patrol and on the Kora Temple Finance Committee and the National Shrine Investment Committee in Tampa, Fla.

He was chairman of the Maine Board of Accountancy and was a director on the People’s Heritage Bank/TD Banknorth board for 27 years as well as a board member of Patron’s-Oxford Insurance Company.

The Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame recently presented him with the Earl B. Austin, Jr. Award recognizing his outstanding personal support and contributions to local sports. Many will remember him as the public address announcer of ELHS football for twenty-five years. He also loved attending the regular morning “Auburn Coffee Club” with his many friends.

He thoroughly enjoyed his 89 years in the Auburn area as well as summers at his family cottage on Flying Point in Freeport. His family was his greatest accomplishment. He was most proud that he shared the “Citizen of the Year” award with his son, Stephen, who received the award in 1994; and that they were the only father and son recipients of the award. He was also nicknamed “Number One Fan” by his two grandsons, Andrew and Jeffrey, as “Bumpa” never missed one competition throughout their entire athletic careers starting with rec leagues through high school and college.

In addition to his wife, Althea, he is survived by his son, Stephen, and daughter, Cynthia and her husband, Brad Sloat. He was “Bumpa” to four grandsons, Andrew Sloat and his wife, Rita, Jeffrey Sloat and his wife, Liisa, William Austin and Jon Austin. He was the proud great-grandfather to three beautiful granddaughters, Cecelia True, Abigail Austin and Althea Marie Sloat. He is also survived by his loving sister, Dorothy Buchanan; and Althea’s siblings, George and Claire Naum and Catherine Akerley. Earl has many loving nieces and nephews that will remember him for his guidance and generosity.

He was predeceased by a sister, Arlene Martin; her husband Roland; a stepsister, Anne Crabtree; and brothers-in-law, Buck Buchanan, Spike Akerley and Nick Naum.

Earl and his family want to thank the staff and the volunteers of Androscoggin Home Health & Hospice for their dedication, professionalism and kindness.

Family and friends may share memories or condolences with the Austin Family at www.the fortingroupauburn.com.

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