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Billy C. Austin of Franklin, KY, a fine Christian gentleman, passed away at the age of 91 on September 26, 2023.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 28 from 4:00 - 8:00 PM at Gilbert Funeral Home, and on Friday September 29 at First Baptist Church in Franklin from 10 AM - 1:00 PM. A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 PM on the 29th followed by burial at Greenlawn Cemetery.
Born on June 3, 1932 in Robertson County, TN to the late Lucille Cook Austin and Romey Austin, Billy was a devoted husband to the love of his life, Anne, who preceded him in death, and shared a wonderful friendship with his brother-in-law, Bill Smith, of Mission, KS.
He passionately loved the Lord, his family, friends, and community and served all of us well.
Bill is survived by three loving children who are proud to call him Dad: Beverly Boren (Rick) of Franklin; Brian Austin (Pam) of Franklin, TN; and Brent Austin (Jill) of Bowling Green.
Billy was "Da" and "Grandaddy" to six grandchildren that he absolutely adored: Craig Boren (Portia Yongbantham) of Fort Knox, KY; Cari Silchuk (Alec) of Franklin; Tipper Austin (Courtney) of Nashville; Asher Austin of Nashville; Andrew Austin (Arielle) of Lexington, KY; and Spencer Austin (Destinee), also of Lexington. "Mr. Bill and Miss Anne" traveled far and wide to watch this generation play or perform in countless events or proudly attend grandparent's days. And when they traveled for vacation, total strangers finding themselves near Mr. Bill were going to have a new friend, and hear all about the exploits of these grands!
Then came the "great grands"!! "Da/Grandaddy" lived for the birth of and visits with his eight beautiful great-grandchildren. He watched with wonderment the growth, development, and activity of these children that brought him so much joy. "Anne, look what we got started!"
This generation is represented by: Caden and Alex Boren of Bardstown, Kentucky; Maggie and Meryn McBrayer of Franklin; Peter and Olivia Austin of Nashville; and Ivy and Lou Austin of Lexington.
Billy served the Lord by the way he lived his life and served his church. He was an active member of First Baptist Church for over 75 years, serving as a Deacon, Trustee, Treasurer, committee member and leader in the body of Christ. He loved attending and teaching Sunday School, studying his Bible lesson and shining his shoes every Saturday night in preparation for worship.
Following graduation from Franklin-Simpson High School in 1950, Billy developed into a community leader at a young age though the Lions Club, Jaycees, and his role at the Electric Plant Board. Over the years his responsibilities and contributions to the community grew as he served the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority, the Southern Kentucky Industrial Development Authority, and the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce (Eye Openers were great fun!) His growing role at the Electric Plant Board help recruit industry by providing stable power to these new businesses.
Billy retired as Superintendent from the Electric Plant Board after 42 years of service in diverse roles. He had meaningful impact and was well respected in the electric power distribution industry through service as a board member of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association, work with the Kentucky Municipal Power Association, active engagement with the American Public Power Association and service as Chairman of Distributors Insurance Company. After "retirement", Billy also served 5 terms as a Franklin City Commissioner.
While working and serving the community, Billy was also a gentleman farmer (with the help of a wonderful, hard-working family that took care of that business).
Bill Austin loved his friends and developing new friendships with people of all ages, from children in the neighborhood to mature adults, remaining active in the community. He enjoyed his time with a "coffee club" that originally met at Moore's Drug Store, cooling off runners in the Garden Spot Trot with a water hose as they ran by, playing the role of Abraham Lincoln at elementary school near president's day, etc. It was not difficult to get Bill Austin to engage with people.
As Mr. Bill and Miss Anne aged, it became necessary to find a new home where they could be cared for. Lewis Manor was the perfect place - they both embraced the new apartment, loved the staff, and were pretty darn spoiled by everyone. "Mayor" Bill even hosted a group of friends for lunch once a month, an experience that fed his soul and lifted his spirits every time. His last hurrah before his final illness was a joyous ride in the Franklin-Simpson Homecoming Parade less than 2 weeks ago. The family owes a special debt of gratitude to the staff, management and Board of Lewis Manor for the love and care provided to Bill and Anne in their final years.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of love and sympathy may be made to: First Baptist Church 303 East Cedar Street Franklin, KY. 42134 or to Lewis Manor Assisted Living 2901 Bowling Green Road Franklin, KY. 42134