J. Dwain Austin

Published 3:36 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

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J. Dwain Austin, loving husband, devoted father, and dedicated public health servant, passed away unexpectedly at his home of 43 years on Thursday, October 14, 2021 in Johnson City, Tenn.
Born to the late John Ray Austin and Bobbie Margaret Price Austin on December 24, 1940, Dwain Austin graduated from Lynn View High School in 1959; often referred to as fullback “Dandy Dwain” in the high school football news articles every Saturday morning. He proudly served our nation in the Army with the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles”, 82nd Airborne, and 503rd Airborne infantry from 1960 to 1965 as Paratrooper – Specialist Fourth Class. Following his honorable discharge from service, he graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science. In 1969, Dwain continued dedicating his life to public service as a Tuberculosis Investigator with Washington County Health Department where he met his wife, Mary K. Following his marriage, he applied for Assistant Director of the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Department. Together, they grew their family by giving birth to three children, Jon Eric in 1973, Amy Marie in 1976 and Keri Lyn in 1978. Dwain retired from serving his community as Director of the Health Departments for Carter, Johnson, and Unicoi counties in January of 2003.
He was preceded in death by his son, Jon Eric Austin; parents, John Ray Austin and Bobbie Margaret Price Austin; brother, Donald Wayne Austin; beloved sister-in-law, Joni Elizabeth Cannon; and many very special cousins.
Those left to cherish their memories of a loving husband, devoted father, and loyal friend are his loving wife of 50 years, Mary Perkins Austin; daughters, Amy Marie Austin and Keri Lyn Austin (and Nathaniel); his best, four-legged friend in his world, Gizmo; and the many beloved cousins he considers his brothers and sisters.
The graveside service will be held in Kingsport, Tenn., and arrangements will be provided to friends and family after arrangements are finalized. Pallbearers will be Nathaniel Marcus, Harrison Hutchinson, Chris Brewer, Ronald Adkins, Kurt Blanken, Matthew Matney, Johnny Jarrett and Drew Hammonds. Honorary pallbearers will be beloved friends and family: Dale Cannon, Bill Dishner, Ray Olinger, Don Fox, Mike Davis, Clarence Nelms, Keith Rutz, Harlan “Rip Van Winkle”, Mike Murph, John “PeeWee” Burleson and the Carter County Rescue Squad, and the Carter County Sheriff’s Department. Respecting her husband and their father’s lifetime commitment to the public welfare and dedication to public health, a celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you make a donation to your local animal shelter or rescue in Dwain’s name. To express condolences to the family please visit www.cartertrent.com. Family requests to please wear a face covering to the graveside and practice social distancing.
Carter-Trent Funeral Home downtown, Kingsport, is serving the Austin family.

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