Earl “Sonny” Austin, Jr. 78, of Taylorville, passed away at 8:05 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
Sonny was born October 7, 1941 in Palmer, the son of Earl and Ivadell (Stahr) Austin, Sr. He married Clara M. Wright on May 19, 1961 in Palmer, and they have enjoyed 59 years of marriage.
Sonny graduated from Morrisonville High School in 1959. He worked for Oscar Mayer in Beardstown for 18 years, then worked as a district manager for Broadway Video, before retiring from International Paper. Sonny was a proud Mason and Shriner, and was also a member of the Illinois Black Powder Association, United Mountain Cur Association, and Moose Lodge. He was a family man, and loved to be doing anything outdoors with his children and grandchildren. Whether it was hunting, fishing, boating, or riding and breaking horses, Sonny was interested. He was instrumental in the reintroduction of wild turkey to Christian County, as well as the formation of Christian County’s National Wild Turkey Federation. Sonny also enjoyed his time auctioneering, calling square dances, and raising and training hunting dogs.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Dawn Marie Austin; and sister, Sharon Austin.
Sonny is survived by his wife, Clara M. Austin of Taylorville; sons, Dane Austin and Garret (wife, Suzanne) Austin, both of Taylorville; grandchildren, Amanda (fiancé, Jason Chronister) Austin, Lacey Austin, Dalton Austin, Ben Passoni, and Adam Passoni, all of Taylorville; great grandchildren, Jadyn Chronister and MayCee Carron; sisters, JoAnn Dobyns, Vicky Austin, and Norma (husband, Gene) Anderson, all of Taylorville; and several nieces and nephews.
Private family ceremonies will be held.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.
The family has entrusted Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home, 202 W. Franklin Street, Taylorville, IL 62568 with ceremonies.
Please visit www.assalleyfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences to the family.