ST. ALBANS — Reginald A. Austin a lifelong resident and former City Fire Chief passed away early Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at the Birchwood Terrace Nursing Home in Burlington.
Born in St. Albans on Nov. 13, 1918, he was the son of the late William “Pete” and Tresa (Reed) Austin. Reg was 96 years old.
In 1940, at the Church of the Nativity, he married the former Marcelle Quilliam, who preceded him in death on Aug. 18, 1979.
Reg was educated in St. Albans and in his early years he was a typesetter for both the Burlington Free Press and St. Albans Messenger. As a young man he was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1939, he joined the Vermont National Guard. From 1944-1946 he served proudly in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman 1st Class during World War II.
He then joined the St. Albans Fire Department, a career that lasted 42 years. He retired in 1984, as Fire Chief. He was an instructor for the Vermont State Firefighters Association and an Honorary Life Member of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs.
Reg was a Master Electrician and a member of the Electrical Inspectors, Green Mountain Chapter, a member of Green Mountain Post # 1, American Legion and Robert E. Glidden Post 758, Veterans of Foreign Wars and a former member of Franklin Lodge # 4, F. & A.M.
He will be dearly missed by all who love him; he leaves his sister, Eunice Taylor; two daughters, Nancy (Ellory) Medor and Mary Jane Wheeler; his grandchildren, Lisa (Bryan) Tott, Linda (Stephen) Olmstead, Diane Wheeler, Deborah (Randy) Lessor and Robert (Ginny) Wheeler; and great -grandchildren, Krista (Colin) Schulte, Kayla Damme, Jonathan Olmstead, Matthew Olmstead, Jana (Aaron) Thuesen, Riley Lessor, Callie Lessor, Hayden Lessor, Kerrigan Lessor, Rowan Wheeler and Abbey Wheeler. He is also survived by his great great-grandchildren, Kenneth Schulte, Meika Schulte, Carter Thuesen and Wyatt Thuesen.
In addition to his parents and wife, Reg was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Roland Bruce Wheeler in 2006.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main Street, St. Albans.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at 11 a.m. in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 45 Fairfield Street, St. Albans. Interment with military honors will be on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, at 11 a.m. at the family lot in Holy Cross Cemetery, Fairfax Street.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Franklin County Home Health Agency, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478 or the Franklin County Animal Rescue, 30 Sunset Meadows, St. Albans, VT 05478. Messages of condolence to Reg’s family are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.