Virginia Austin, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on May 23, 2017, at the age of ninety-seven at New Hope Manor in Cedar Park. Born Martha Virginia Garrison in Childress on October 10, 1919, to Grady and Nell Garrison, she remained alert to the end, charming neighbors, visitors and staff with her sunny disposition and signature sense of humor.
Virginia was the youngest of four stair-step children, including Margarette, Doris and Bob. Grady, a Western Union employee in Sherman, Texas, moved his family southward toward a climate more suited to baby Virginia’s delicate health, settling in the Rio Grande Valley town of Mercedes, where he was transferred to become the manager of the Western Union office on the town square.
A gifted storyteller, Virginia often told of spending afternoons in the office, once placing books on a chair so she could reach the big telegraphic typewriter. After a while, her father appeared, holding a telegram from another Western Union office.
“Virginia,” he asked, “have you been playing with that typing machine?”
The little girl’s face lit up. “Oh yes, Daddy, and it’s so much fun!”
“Well,” he said, quietly but firmly, “don’t do that anymore.”
Virginia graduated from Mercedes High School in 1938. That fall she joined her sister Margarette at the University of Texas, where she studied journalism and worked on the campus paper, The Daily Texan. At UT she met Garth Austin, a fellow journalism student. They wed on May 22, 1942, soon after Pearl Harbor and Garth’s enlistment in the Army Air Corps. They spent the war years in Enid, Oklahoma, where Garth served as an instructor at the Army primary flying school and where their first son, Jerry, was born.
After the war, the family moved back to Austin, where second son, John, was born. They soon settled permanently in rural Liberty Hill. Virginia made use of her journalism studies working for the Williamson County Sun newspaper, a job she loved. She was also active in the Liberty Hill Methodist Church and in Eastern Star.
Virginia is predeceased by her parents, siblings, husband Garth and son Jerry. She is survived by her son, John and his wife Rachel and by her two granddaughters: Jerry’s daughter Laura Thompson and John and Rachel’s daughter Barbara Austin.
The family received guests for a time of visitation from 6:00-8:00 P.M. on Friday, May 26, 2017 at Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown. Funeral services were held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at Cross Tracks Church in Liberty Hill. Interment followed at Liberty Hill Cemetery in Liberty Hill.
The family extends its grateful thanks to the loving and caring staff at New Hope Manor. Those wishing to do so may make a donation to the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, Cross Tracks Church in Liberty Hill, or a charity of their choice.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.cookwaldendavisfuneralhome.com.