Dr. GÇ£TedGÇ¥ Edward H. Austin lost his courageous battle against multiple heart problems, hepatic encephalopathy, and two rare blood disorders on January 18, 2014. He chose to be at home with the wonderful care of Vitas Hospice and his family.
Dr. Austin was the middle child of Drs. Edward Knox and Carolyn Elizabeth Hutto Austin. His older sister, Betty Jane Abbot (Bob) and younger brother, Kenneth Lee Austin (Jane) survive him. He leaves six strong, educated, and working daughters, Pam Parker (Frank) of California; Laine Randall (Ashley) of Georgia; Susan Austin of Georgia; Beth Austin of Georgia; Kristin Harris (Mitchell) of Florida, and Faren Ahrens (T.J.) of Virginia. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Sarah and Graham Parker of California; Austin Poff of Minnesota; Hannah Poff of Georgia; Beth Randall of Japan; Kathy Bryant (John) of North Carolina; Christopher and Courtney Austin of Georgia; Harper Harris of Florida; and Matthew and Elijah Ahrens of Virginia.
He was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. From age four, he wanted to become a doctor. As a child and a teenager, he attended schools in Talladega and Birmingham, Alabama. He amassed enough high school credits to enter the University of Alabama at fifteen years of age. He started Pre-Med, but left at seventeen years old to join the US Navy in the Naval Air Cadet program. He completed the required credits to graduate with a BS degree in Chemistry by correspondence during his two years in the Navy. His MD degree was earned in 1958 at the University of Alabama. He was a Pediatric Resident at Lloyd Nolan Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where he met his wife, Sara Chamless, marrying her in June 1962, before they moved to Merritt Island to open his pediatric practice.
This was a time of fun activities and hard work. Sailing on the Indian River on his boat Erzulie in rain or shine was one of his greatest joys. The girls learned to sail and to scream at too-fast motor boats making too-high a wake. Erzulie and Ted plus the crew won many races as well as Boat of the Year.
In 1969 even though Dr. Austin loved peadiatrics, he decided that changing his practice to anesthesia would allow him to increase his own family time. He returned to Atlanta, Georgia and Emory University to complete his anesthesia Residency at Grady Hospital from 1969-1971. He then returned to Cocoa to begin his practice at Wuesthoff Hospital. During the 1970’s he represented St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Honduras, taking care of hurricane victims. Because the country was flooded, he was airlifted by helicopter in and out of the country by Green Berets. He returned to Cocoa to continue practicing anesthesia until the early 1990’s. Afterwards, he continued Locum Tenens in Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Georgia covering for other anesthesiologists.
During his time at Wuesthoff, he served two terms as Wuesthoff’s Medical Staff President in 1969-70 and 1983-84.
Dr. Austin’s life was enriched by the love of friends GÇô the visits, the contacts, and the prayers. The Austin family is forever grateful for all of the continuous care he received from the Nurses and Doctors. To Drs. Florescu, Tobkes, Wanich, Agrama, Lynn and Blane, and to Dr. Blackshear at the Mayo Clinic GÇô you deserve a special place in this world and the next.There will be a Memorial Service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Cocoa on Saturday, February 8th at 11:00, followed by a GÇ£gatheringGÇ¥ in Thursby Hall.In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity, smile at a sad face, and give joy to those around you.