Arnold Lee Austin
Arnold Lee Austin departed this life on April 29 in Savannah. He was 94 years old and was a life long resident of Hardin County. He was born April 9, 1919, the son of Ben C. and Dora Seaton Austin.
On Dec. 22, 1938, Arnold married the former Virginia Covington and they bought a place and made their home in Hardin County. He worked at several jobs and was an over the road trucker when the draft board took him away from his wife and three children to serve in the American Infantry during World War II. He was discharged as a Staff Sergeant (E-5) soon after that war ended.
In February 1948 he reentered the service as a PFC (E-2) in the Air Force Civil Engineers where he progressed upward to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) as a structural superintendent. He always considered himself a career service man and had a total of 24 years of active duty service that spanned three wars: World War II, Korean and the Vietnam War, retiring on April 1, 1970.
Arnold and Virginia “Jenny,” who preceded her husband in death on July 4, 2011, were parents to six children, Pattie Adams, who preceded her father in death on March 3, 2012, Tommy Austin and his wife Brenda of Enville, Tenn., Rita Barnhill and her husband Jerry of Savannah, Julia Bridges and her husband Carl of Iuka, Miss., Mackie Welch of Savannah, and Terry Griswell and her husband Gary of Savannah. Arnold also adored his 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He was truly a family man. His love knew no bounds.
In addition to his parents, wife and daughter, Arnold was also preceded in death by three siblings, Marie Walker, Christine Allison and Warren Austin.
Arnold was a member of the Eureka United Methodist Church, Savannah Masonic Lodge 102, The York Rite Masonry of Lexington, Tenn., The Scottish Rite of Corinth, Miss., and Tennessee Priory 15 in Nashville. He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and he was also a member of the Pickwick Shrine Club for 22 years.
Arnold was never bored for lack of something to do. His military service required that he have a knowledge of all skills necessary in constructing a house which included carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing and anything else needed.
His daily priorities revolved around his family, church, lodge and garden. Even though he was legally blind since 1998, he seemed to be constantly busy trying to build or repair something.
Arnold entered the service a tenth grade dropout and retired with two years college all on his own time and at the same time performed his assigned duties and provided for his family. This was an accomplishment that he was proud of.
Services were held on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. at Shackelford Chapel in Savannah with Mike Howard, Military Chaplin officiating. Burial followed in the Memory Gardens at Savannah.