The Fence Post obituary: Wayne L. Austin
Wayne L. Austin, 76
Jan. 3, 1944 – May 6, 2020
Wayne L. Austin, 76, of Longmont, Colo., died May 6, 2020, at St. Anthony North in Westminster. He was born Jan. 3, 1944, in Julesburg, Colo., to Burl and Mildred (Leef) Austin, and grew up with four siblings on the family farm south of Ovid, Colo. During those years, Wayne was active in high school athletics, 4-H, and the family farm operations.
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He graduated from Julesburg High School in 1962, attended and graduated from Northeastern Junior College, then graduated from Colorado State University in 1968 with a degree in vocational agriculture.
In 1966, Wayne married Sandi Barstad in Aurora, Colo., and to this union three children were born.
Upon graduating from CSU, Wayne moved to Iowa where he taught vocational agriculture at Aurelia High School, and served as the Future Farmers of America chapter advisor. He also taught classes part time at Iowa State University and ran the cow-calf operations for the father of one of his high school students.
In 1971, Wayne and his family moved back to the family farm, where he grew wheat and corn, and raised cattle. With programs grounded in the belief that kids learn best by doing, Wayne’s passion for 4-H was passed down to his children. They were all very active in the club’s hands-on projects.
In 1998, Wayne and Sandi moved to Colorado’s Front Range where he started a trucking business with his son. Wayne always felt at home behind the wheel of farm machinery and semi-trucks. After selling his own trucks, he drove for Clear Creek Trucking of Denver and Schlagel Farms of Longmont.
Wayne thoroughly valued time spent with family, friends, and their beloved dog Spike. He took great pride in his children’s school and sports activities, church youth programs and life accomplishments, whether it was Shawn’s skills while building his own home with his wife, Trimbi’s training and career as a commercial pilot, or Alana’s Air Force career and adventures.
He was a great story teller and loved to share stories –— whether or not someone had already heard them — and to play pranks on children of family friends, calling them up and pretending to be the president, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
He had an incredible memory and amazed people with his recollection of dates, events, people and faces. Wayne never met a stranger, striking up conversations and making friends wherever he traveled, from local auctions to the beaches of Jamaica. Wayne loved people, and never forgot them.
Wayne enjoyed many hobbies such as collecting antique tractors, toy tractors, license plates, attending auctions, and watching the show “American Pickers.” But three interests stand out as his lifetime favorites — building and racing stock cars, following NASCAR, and rooting for the Denver Broncos.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Sandi, of Longmont; three children, Shawn (Danielle) Austin, of Kearney, Neb.; Trimbi (Marc) Szabo of Broomfield, Colo.; and Alana (Bryan) Johnson, of Columbia, My.; 11 grandchildren; brothers, Burl Dean Austin and Kenny Austin; sisters, Janet Little and Donna Austin; and many other relatives and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, when travel and gathering is safe for all. Kramer Funeral Home in Denver was entrusted with cremation. Inurnment will be at Hillside Cemetery in Julesburg at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to create a 4-H scholarship in Wayne’s name. Checks can be made out to Sedgwick County 4-H Council and mailed to: Wayne Austin Memorial Scholarship Fund, Sedgwick County 4-H Extension, 315 Cedar St., Suite 100, Julesburg, CO 80737.
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