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Hon. Robert H. Austin


Watertown- A prayer service for the Hon. Robert H. Austin will be 10:15 am Monday, April 1st, at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home followed by an 11 am Mass of the Resurrection at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church with Rev. Jonas Tandayu officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in North Watertown Cemetery. Calling hours are Saturday, March 30th, from 3 pm - 7 pm at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Watertown, NY 13601.

Judge Austin, 88, Military Rd., Watertown, passed away at his home March 21st, 2013.

He was born March 2, 1925, the son of Harry H. and Edyth Hennessy Austin and was a 1943 graduate of Watertown High School. Following his education, he served in the US Army Air Corps with the 323rd Fighter Squadron from 1943-1946, later serving with the US Air Force reserves from 1948-1952. After his honorable discharge from the military, he went to work for the St. Regis Paper Company, working from 1946 until retiring as materials manager in 1986.

Bob married E. Joyce Blackman of Stockport, England on June 6, 1947. She passed on June 2, 1973. He married Dorothy J. Porter on Feb. 12, 1983. Dorothy passed away on Nov. 6, 2012.

Mr. Austin was first elected in 1959 to a 2 year term as Supervisor of the 10th Ward in Watertown and was re-elected for another 10 terms concluding his service in December of 1981. He served as board chairman in the legislature from 1978-1979.

In 1989, Bob was elected to his first 4 year term as Pamelia Town Justice, serving 22 years, until his recent retirement.

Judge Austin was a member of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, a life member of the VFW Post 1400, the American Legion Post 61, the Watertown Elks Lodge #496, the Italian American Club. Bob was a member and past president of the North Side Improvement League, a past trustee of Jefferson Community College, a board member for the Jefferson County Fair and was an active volunteer with SCORE, Meals on Wheels and the Busy BG’s.

He is survived by a daughter Cheryl (Daniel) Katcher, Fairfax Station, VA; a son Marcus(Jane) Austin, Pittsford; a daughter Sherrie Austin, Portland, OR and a step-son, James (Christine) Emerton, Sterling, MA. Three grandchildren, Joshua Katcher, Lauren Austin and Aidan Austin. His sister Dorthea Wood-Thomas Gallagher, York, PA and 9 nieces and nephews. Two brothers James and Stephen predeceased him.

Condolences may be made at

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