David Harold Austin passed away peacefully at his home in Lake Placid, Florida on Dec. 6, 2018. He was 88. David was born Sept. 3, 1930 in Sebring, Florida to Arthur E. and Fern Austin of Lake Placid, Florida. He was an avid outdoorsman and was most comfortable when he was in the woods. David spent his childhood hunting and fishing, and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950 where he was stationed in France and Germany as a medic during the Korean War.
It was in Germany that he met his wife Elly. He went to college at the University of Florida on the G.I. Bill while raising three daughters. After college, he moved to Sebring and worked as a wildlife biologist with the Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission. During this time, he did field research on the Florida wild turkey and was considered one of the foremost experts in the country.
He retired after 24 years working for the state of Florida. After retiring as a wildlife biologist, he started Florida Wildlife Services, a hunting lease operation with a partner and later became sole owner. He retired in 2010 and continued to be active raising beef cattle at his home in Lake Placid.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Arthur E. and Fern Austin; his wife, Elly Schuster Austin; his brother, Elden Austin (Emma), and his sister, Reba Sapp (AJ). He is survived by his four children, Heidi Stivender of Sebring, Jocelyn Miller of Lakeland, Sandra (Louis) Gomez of Tucson and David A. Austin of Sebring. He leaves five grandchildren and was blessed with three great-grandchildren.
The family will have a private viewing time. A funeral service will be from the Community Church of God, 735 S. Sun N Lake Blvd., Lake Placid at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. Pastor Joe DeHart will celebrate. Burial will follow at the Oak Hill Cemetery with military honors by the McDill AFB Funeral Honor Team.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Community Church of God building fund or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Funeral arrangements are under the loving devotion of Michael A. Brochetti Funeral Home, Lake Placid. 863-465-9997.