Posted On October 13th, 2012 -

JOHN F. AUSTIN, JR. Of West Falmouth and Honolulu, Hawaii died Sunday October 7th at his home. He was 79. He was born in Boston and graduated from the Hoosac School in upstate New York. Upon graduation, he entered the United States Air Force and served four years of active duty during the Korean War. He was stationed in Keflavik, Iceland and in Prestwick, Scotland, where he received a commendation for being the first responder to a bad civilian air crash. When Mr. Austin left the service, he graduated from Leister College with a degree in business administration. Upon graduation, he moved to Honolulu where he worked as an agent for the John Hancock Insurance Agency until Hawaii became a state in 1959. After Hawaii became a state, Mr. Austin joined a family real estate business, which played a major role in the development of the first high-rise office tower in downtown Honolulu after statehood. The construction of this building, the Financial Plaza of the Pacific, was the beginning of a building boom that led to the rejuvenation of downtown Honolulu. The family real estate business also was involved in rezoning, from agricultural to urban usage, land that had been leased to the Oahu sugar company. This rezoning was included in the Master Plan for the island of Oahu and as a result of the rezoning, a community called New Town was built. In the late 1960’s, while working on various projects, Mr. Austin often returned to his home in West Falmouth. He loved to travel and for three decades traveled frequently throughout Europe and Asia. He made several trips to China, Japan and Thailand. On one trip to Japan, he spent time researching family history in the city of Yokohama, the birthplace of his father. In recent years, Mr. Austin continued to commute between his homes in West Falmouth and Honolulu. In Falmouth, he was involved in the founding of the West Falmouth Boat Club. He also enjoyed supporting various charitable organizations in Falmouth. He was a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club; the Waikiki Yacht Club; the Chappaquoit Yacht Club, Bowerman’s Beach Club and the Willowbend Country Club. He leaves two sons, John F. Austin III of Falmouth and William B. Austin of Wellesley, a daughter, Lori Austin Spilhaus of Falmouth and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the West Falmouth Library, P. O. Box 1209, West Falmouth, MA 02574. Services will be private. For online guestbook

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran