Whitehall-Kenneth J. Austin of Whitehall, New York died Friday, May 25th from a long illness with family and friends by his side. Born October, 1944 in Ticonderoga New York, he was the oldest son of Hanford and Doris (Johnson) Austin. Ken graduated from Whitehall High School with the Class of 1962. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego. During his lifetime, Ken was employed as a millwright for International Paper in Ticonderoga, where he was a member of the quarter century club. During that time he also served as President of the EMA. Ken moved to South Glens Falls in the early 1980s where he worked for Finch Pruyn. He choose to follow a different career path and joined Prudential Insurance Company as an agent covering a territory from Corinth to Ticonderoga. In 1990, he made his last career change with the New York State Department of Correctional Services as a vocational instructor in electrical trades and computer repair eventually assuming the position of vocational supervisor at Great Meadow Correctional Facility and Washington Correctional where he retired in September, 2014 at age 70.
Besides his family, Ken loved everything about the outdoors; skiing, camping, hiking, boating and fishing but what he loved the most was farming. Ken took over the family farm in Whitehall and converted it to a successful hay business which he operated for 20 years. He delivered hay to customers in New York and Vermont and cherished the bonds and friendships he made through his business.
Ken is predeceased by his parents (Doris and Hanford), younger brother Donald and a nephew Clayton. Ken leaves behind Karen (Hulka), his wife and companion of 34 years. Two daughters, Marcy (Matthew) Dreimiller, Molly, from his first marriage to Mary Willis Austin; three step sons, Gregory Guilder, Kyle (Debra) Stark, Christopher Stark. Six grandchildren, Rachel (Christin Meyer) Dreimiller, Madeline Dreimiller, Emily Guilder, Devon, Ashlynne and Zachary Stark. He also leaves behind three brothers Jerry (Gail) Austin, Stanley (Lee McClure) Austin, Lawrence Austin and sister Lois (John Sienkiewicz) Austin and his business partner and close friend W. Scott Ward.
The family wishes to express their deepest thanks to Dr. Donald Merrihew and his office staff for their kindness and compassionate care of Ken throughout the years. No calling hours or services at Ken’s request but a celebration to honor Ken’s life will be held at the end of July. A notice with the date and time of his memorial service will be announced in the Post Star at a later date. Anyone wishing to honor Ken’s memory can make a contribution in Ken’s name to St. Jude’s or Make A Wish Foundation.