John Philip Austin, 64, passed away October 29, 2021, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, due to COVID. John was born in Portland, Maine to Philip and Cynthia (Hattenburg) on June 14, 1957.
John grew up on beautiful Harding Rd. in Gorham, Maine and Graduated from Gorham High School in June of 1976. His days were filled with taking care of the farm, raising horses, baling a lot of hay, running around with his friends Durward and Dale. And being irritating to his sister Christy. John worked construction, farmed, drove truck – long hauls, and dump truck. He worked for Bud Meyer, Gerke, Calhoun and most recently Lambert’s Forest Products.
There wasn’t much John couldn’t do and didn’t do. He had a great sense of humor – a dry sense of humor. His laugh was like no other. He loved cows; raising his own team of steers when he was younger – Bo and Luke and later the famous Homer. He was in 4H growing up, went to a pig scramble and his pants fell but he got the pig! He had to use his belt to catch the pig.
He loved his nephew and niece, Ben and Angie. His idea of babysitting was taking his niece for long rides until she fell asleep and if she woke again, on the road they would go. He was a smart man, could fix just about anything. He was like his dad in that way. He loved to hunt, fish, snowmobile, raising a little hell every once in a while, being with friends and family.
Somehow John found his way to Norwalk WI, where he met, fell in love with, and later married Nita. Their wedding was held in Gorham in July 1986. He gained 4 children, 14 brothers and sisters, and a lot of little “4 footers” being his nieces and nephews. John and Nita shared 28 years of marriage together. It is impossible to gather the memories they shared. There were a lot of laughs and great times.
Although John did not have any biological children, he loved Brad, Kim, Pam, and Amber as if they were his own. He was so proud of each of them, and they enriched his life beyond words. As did all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. His first grandchild, Haylie, could do no wrong. During one trip to Maine, they were all watching a movie and Haylie decided she was going to play the piano in the middle of the movie. Aunt Christy told her she would have to wait, which Haylie was fine with, but John was not.
Haylie could do anything she wanted, period. Nita Austin passed away in September 2014.
In February 2015, John met (at the hands of Amber), Lori. They discovered that they had many of the same interests and truly loved each other and enjoyed each other’s company. John and Lori married October 8 th , 2016. Recently celebrating their 5th anniversary with one of their epic bonfires.
Through this marriage, John gained 2 more children, Carina and Joe, and 5 more grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with all of them. John and Joe became very close, doing all kinds of stuff together. We think they had a “Red Head” connection. Hunting, Fishing, Snowmobiling, and Tractor pulls and just relaxing by the fire. John and Lori were able to take some trips to Maine, even attending a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. Their neighbor just expressed to us how much she enjoyed hearing John
and Lori talk and laugh about their day on the front deck.
We are all so very thankful for the years they had together. Lori Austin passed away Thursday, October 28, 2021. John is survived by his mom, Cynthia Austin; his sister Christy (Barry) Cousins; his niece Angie Keith; his great niece’s Emma, and Caroline. His children, Brad (Michelle) Vieth, Kim (Todd) Bowen, Pamela Vieth, & Amber (Dennis) Johnson of Sparta. John is also survived by his grandchildren Haylie (Michael) Kinserdahl, Abigail, Nathan, and Olivia Vieth, Heidi, Jenna, and Samantha Johnson, and Phillip Vieth. His great grandchildren Valerie and Liam, and Phoebe due to arrive in March.
Further survived by Lori’s children, Carina (Matt Moore) Hellickson and Joe Brueggeman; Lori’s grandchildren, Curtis Hellickson, December and Ghage Moore, Whinter and Skeyenne Squires. John is further survived by his very close lifetime friend Durward Worster. And of course we cannot forget Copper, Turbo and Oreo: their pets.
John is preceded in death by his father Philip Austin, his Nephew Durward Benjamin Worster, and friend Dale Worster, his wife Nita Austin, and his wife Lori Austin.
Speaking for John’s children and grandchildren, when you ask yourselves what you can do for us, we ask that you please get vaccinated. That is our request.
Roll On Down East Drifter, Roll On.
Memorial service for John and Lori to be held on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 12:00 PM at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta. Chaplain Priscilla Hemmersbach will officiate. Memorial visitation will take place at the funeral home from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.