Jack Allen Austin, 82, passed away peacefully on February 8, 2017, in Seattle, Washington, with his children and Max (his son’s dog) by his side. He was born September 6, 1934, in Chehalis, Washington, to Robert and Hazel (Deeds) Austin of Tenino, Washington.
Jack grew up in Tenino where his dad was a manager at Puget Sound Power & Light and his mother was a homemaker. He was joined by his two sisters; first by Barbara Ann (McLean of Tumwater, Wash.), and then Alice “Jane” (Bell of Husum, Wash).
After graduating from Tenino High, Jack attended Centralia Junior College where he played football and graduated in 1955. He continued onto the University of Washington, with a draft deferment, he achieved a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1958. He then served two years with the Army Corps of Engineers (Ordinance Corps) in Yuma, Ariz., and Fort Churchill, Manitoba, until completion of his enlistment in 1960. As a bachelor, he developed a love for mountaineering, steelhead fishing as well as skiing and hiking, and he summited many peaks in the Pacific Northwest even having explored a new route to Mount Olympus.
In 1964, Jack met Elaine Patricia Keryluk while skiing at Crystal Mountain and they married the following year on Mercer Island. They later moved to Bellevue, where he worked for Puget Power as an electrical engineer, and raised two children, Patricia Jyl “PJ” (Baker), and John Charles Austin. Jack lived in Bellevue until 2015 when he moved to Seattle to be closer to his children.
An engineer at heart, Jack loved genealogy and was what we now term a “computer geek” from the beginning. A resolute planner, his motto was “proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance,” and he meant it. He was a life member of the Seattle Yacht Club, where he shared his love of sailing and the water. Jack had lifetime membership to the University of Washington Alumni Association and he bled Purple and Gold rooting for his beloved “Dawgs.” He showed his love of fellowship as a deacon for the Bellevue First Presbyterian Church. Upon retirement he became a member the Puget Sound Energy Retirees Association, as well as continuing to keep abreast of the industry with his membership in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of America (ret).
In retirement, Jack continued to enjoy the outdoors, biking, skiing and clam digging during stays at the family’s Seaview, Washington “beach house,” the latter resulting in many meals that included his own time-honored recipe for clam chowder. His grandsons, Bryce and Austin Baker, remember him for their many years of driving in his truck to Carnation to U-pick strawberries for making jam and also baking chocolate chip cookies.
He will be missed by his family and remembered fondly by friends and his grandchildren as a thorough, careful, kind, and mindful man — a great storyteller and as someone who could always be relied upon for a soft smile and thoughtful observations about life. Jack requested no services. His family will be spreading his ashes at a favorite spot on the Long Beach Peninsula later this summer.