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Mickey Dale Austin, known as “Grumps” to his grandkids and close family. Born 1947 in Dallas, Texas to parents, Murrell Lee Austin and Pauline Ruth Morrison Austin. Passed on 01/11/2024 in Arlington, TX at the age of 76.
Mickey was the oldest of 5 boys and grew up in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, TX. He was an outstanding student and a member of the National Honor Society at Sunset High School. After graduating high school in 1965, Mickey attended college at the University of Texas at Arlington where he majored in mathematics. He participated in ROTC and the rifle team in both high school and college. Mickey and Diane met at UTA and married in 1969. After college, he worked as a technician in a lab before beginning an apprenticeship as an electrician, eventually earning his journeyman’s license, and later becoming a master electrician. He started his own company and worked for many years in the construction industry though eventually he moved into the field of automated control systems. A lifelong entrepreneur and learner, he also spent significant time learning more creative endeavors, including woodwork and photography. After 20+ years raising a family in Duncanville, Mickey and Diane traveled the country before moving from Texas to Estes Park, Colorado where they ran an art gallery called Nature’s Gallery for two years before returning to Texas to be closer to family. He continued to work in the controls industry until his retirement.
He was rarely seen without a book in his hand or nearby. Literacy was important to him, and whether by intent or coincidence, he served as an example and a mentor to young people who entered his sphere. He was a voracious reader of science fiction, fantasy, history, mystery and westerns. He loved music. He was respectful to all – often using a character in a book, a storyline, or a piece of music as his initial connection. Mickey was very fond of all our family cats and amused by their antics.
Always generous with his time, Mickey was a loving husband and unquestionably devoted to his family. He will be most remembered for the way he respected us all as people, as individuals deserving of a real answer to any question asked, and as someone who took the time to think – and taught others to think – regardless of what else was going on. He was kind and gentle. A lifelong seeker of knowledge, he valued learning and critical thinking over formal education. Regardless of creed or belief, he could communicate with anyone. He enjoyed conversations with others and was especially able to connect with older people and children. He had a gift of making people feel seen. He enjoyed travel, photography, and had a deep appreciation of music. When a particular piece of music really hit him, his entire face would light up and his eyes sparkled to life as he shared it with you.
Preceded in death by his parents, Murrell Lee Austin and Pauline Ruth Morrison Austin, and three brothers, Robert, Stephen and Terry. Survived by his wife Diane; their 2 children, Barry (Brandy) and Jaime; 3 grandchildren, Abby, Riley and Isabel; his brother Gill (Linda), and many nieces and nephews. A memorial will be held at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making donations in Mickey’s name to https://donate.ImaginationLibrary.com in support of literacy or gift a book to a child.
I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil. May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien