Obituaries - Dec. 16, 2008

Mary Nell Giles Starr

Mary Nell Giles Starr, 73, a child of God and lifetime resident of Clayton County, passed away after a long illness Friday, Dec. 12, at Jonesboro Nursing Home.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Aubrey Starr. She is survived by her daughter, Kay; sisters, Patsy and Paul Lakemper, Peggy and Charlie Holmes; brother-in-law, Terrell and Celeste Starr; sisters-in-law, Betty Giles and Marguerite Starr, and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Mary retired from Southern Regional Medical Center after 26 years of service. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Forest Park and was active for many years with special needs children and adults. Her family received friends from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., Monday at the funeral home. Graveside services were at 2 p.m., Monday, at Forest Hills Cemetery in Forest Park, with Pastor Reed Crumbliss officiating. In lieu of flowers, those desiring may make contributions to First Baptist Church of Forest Park, 634 Main St., Forest Park, Ga. 30297. Funeral arrangements by Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors, Morrow, Ga., (770) 961-2828.

Richard Wayne Austin

Richard Wayne Austin, also know as "Preacher" and "Hoppy," went to be with the Lord he loved and faithfully served on a glorious Sunday, The Lord's Day, the Dec. 7, 2008.

He was 56 years old, a "Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the 4th of July" in 1952. "Preacher" was the beloved husband of his wife of 34 years, Faith McCauley Austin. Adored and revered "Daddy" of John Austin, Angela and husband, Will Requardt, Sharon Austin, and McCauley Austin and wife, Brittni Austin.

He was "Hoppy" to his adored grandchildren, Evan, Christopher, Cole, Aly, Achaya. Also to Caleb Rouse, who on a day in his church office said, "Hoppy will you be my Hoppy, too?" To which Preacher immediately replied, "Yes I will."

Preacher was preceded in death by his father, John L. Austin, Jr., and niece, Cindy May. He is also survived by his mother, whom he adored, Martha Loretta Austin; siblings, Johnny and Lynn Austin, Charlie and Sheila Austin, Jeff Austin, and Nancy and John Plowman, all of Georgia; father and mother-in-law, Clifton and Dorothy McCauely; their children David and Carol McCauley, of Alabama, Sharon and Norbert LeBeouf, Pam and Alan Otten and James and Denise McCauley, of Texas.

As well as all of his nieces and nephews who loved him as "Uncle Ricky," and extended family who he held close to his heart: devoted friend, Beth Banning, "daughter," Terribeth Banning Lott, and "son," Peter Dupnick.

He also never got over deepest love and gratitude to Nicole Manzella and Amanda Miller. He was pastor to his loving church family, Friendswood Baptist Church, with whom he celebrated 20 years on Oct. 20, 2008. Never was there a Preacher who loved his people more, and never a church who loved a Preacher more. Friendswood Baptist was as much his family as his own blood kin, and there was no doubt, nor dispute.

Preacher knew the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, for He had plucked him out of a miry pit and set his feet on a solid rock many years ago. In the corner of his bedroom in Forest Park, Preacher cried out in repentance to Jesus Christ, and in that moment, began a life purpose that led him to Friendswood, Texas and his glorious calling.

That purpose was fulfilled as Preacher passed quietly, without struggle late in the afternoon, on a Sunday. How appropriate for him!

Donations can be made to the Friendswood Baptist Church Mission Fund, 315 W. Shadowbend, Friendswood, Texas, 77546. Condolences can be sent to the Austin Family, in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com. A memorial service will be held at a later date.