Austin, Stephen Laurence – It is with great sadness that the family of Stephen Austin announce his passing February 4, 2021, in his 85th year, peacefully, at the Juravinski Hospital after a brief illness. Predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Esther (nee Chappell) in 2015. Wonderful loving father to David, (Katherine) and Carolyn (Tom Barbeau). Adored Poppa to Jessica (Jordan), Jonathan (Shannon), Candice (Benjamin), Andrew (Molly), Michael (Sarah) and Joel. His grandchildren were a source of pride, he supported them in their sporting events, theatre productions, graduations and weddings. He was a great-poppa to Zachariah, Austin, Wyatt and Naomi and two new arrivals this summer. Also survived by brothers Norman, Paul (Mary) and Alvyn and many nieces and nephews. Steve was born in Tushan, China to missionary parents (John and Lillian). He attended Chefoo schools until the family returned to Canada in 1951. Steve taught himself to play the piano by ear by playing on a piano that was attached to the missionary house near Toronto Bible College. He was an avid photographer, taking many pictures (and 1000s of slides) of family and of his many travels. With his young family, we travelled across Canada and the USA, pulling a trailer behind us. Then with Esther, they travelled the world with groups of travelers that Steve organized. They visited Canada, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Peru, Easter Islands, Chile , China to name a few and he hiked the Grand Canyon too many times to count. A trip highlight was a family cruise in 2013, Steve and Esther and their two children/spouses and 8 grandchildren/spouses cruised the Caribbean over New Years. His faith was important to him. Esther and Steve were long time members of Chedoke Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder and sang in the choir. Steve attended London Bible Institute where he met Esther and after they married, he went to Western University for his undergraduate degree . He worked as a teacher/guidance counsellor at Burlington Central High school for almost 25 yrs. He coached girl’s soccer and assisted in the drama productions. Esther and Steve had many dear friends , many friendships lasting for decades. Many fond memories of “ the group”. Steve especially enjoyed spending time with extended family every Christmas where four generations of Austin family members would gather for our annual “Chinese Turkey”. Steve will be remembered as a quiet, thoughtful man, a true gentleman. He loved to laugh. He loved his God, he loved his family and he will be missed. Many thanks to the staff at Juravinski Hospital and Aberdeen Gardens retirement home, for the wonderful care given to our dad. In lieu of flowers, donations to Neighbour to Neighbour would be appreciated by the family. Friends and Family are invited to Turner Family Funeral Home, 53 Main St. Dundas, on Tuesday February 9, from 6 – 9p.m. You must sign up at https://signup.com/go/KTcEAkX. A private family Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, February 10 at 11:00a.m.
To view the livestream: https://event.forgetmenotceremonies.com/ceremony?c=2f7a550a-db78-426e-a8d7-4774f4ca6e4e
Eternal Rest Grant unto Steve Oh Lord!
To the Austin family: I am so very sorry for you loss!
I first met Steve as a young secretary at Burlington Central High School. Steve was always friendly, kind, and soft spoken. He smiled often and it was obvious that he loved his profession and his photography! He enjoyed sharing stories and events that he and his family experienced. It was obvious how important his family was to him!
To the Austin family,
Our heartfelt condolences to all of you. Gary and I had many conversations with Steve about his life and travels in China. We have fond memories of him at Chedoke Church. We remember Steve always stopping at the Sunday School doors to see the children, and also the many times he sat down at the piano to play some tunes after a Sunday service. May he rest peacefully with Esther in his forever Heavenly home.
What an incredible man Steve was! I looked upon him as a Renaissance Man, as he had so many talents and gifts. His ability to sit down at a piano and play multiple-part hymns and songs was incredible! He blessed us at Chedoke Church with his piano playing talents many times. Steve and Esther also displayed his incredible photographs from around the world in their home, and I was always in awe.
Steve had a delightful sense of human and quick wit, and you were often taken off guard by his lightening quick responses to a comment or joke. He was always someone who could participate in a lively political discussion. As an educator, I can only imagine what a terrific teacher he must have been!
Blessings to you, Carolyn and David. May your memories bring you many smiles and warm feelings of a father whose life was well lived.
I am sorry for your loss
Steve and Esther were long term members of the Mission and Outreach Team at Chedoke Church. Esther loved Christmas time when she and Steve could buy outfits and clothes for the women and children at Interval House.
Steve was incredible at playing songs and hymns all from memory. They were a great couple!
My condolences to the Austin family. I remember visiting Steve and Esther at their Dundas home to deliver a poinsettia from Chedoke Church. They told me all about their cruise with the family and showed me the beautiful picture of the whole group. They were so proud of all of you. What great memories you have.
Carolyn and Tom, David and Katherine
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your Father.
This is such a difficult time, but know he is with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. Our prayers are with you.
Stephen was the best of brothers. We never got into a fight. We never had an argument. We were born one year apart (Steve, 1936, Norman, 1937), and were often for twins. He was my dearest friend and companion for the first years of my life. My happiest memory of our time together was when Steve and I and our Dad (serving then in the British Army) traveled on a freighter from Singapore to Madras, India, to rejoin the rest of our family (mom and two youngest children). The three of us were boys together, chasing each other around the ship, visiting the bridge, given a tour of the engine room. This was heaven (or almost). I have many happy memories of my brother. His children had a good father. Steve was a blessing for all who knew him. He is in glory now. Hallelujah!
We are so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. He and Esther were good friends to us at Chedoke. Steve played piano on many wonderful hymn finales at church. He always stayed at choir until I left, making sure the church was locked up and I was safely on my way home. We enjoyed our time together, loved his stories of his adventures, and appreciated his warmth and caring.
My name is Harry Lampman. I am in my 96th year and I live in Stoney Creek.
I have fond memories of the time I spent travelling with Steve and Esther to the Grand Canyon, Alps and others.
Steve was a wonderful person. I will never forget the time we spent together. We had lots of fun hiking. He was a great friend.
Steve was a great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with Steve and his family.
I had the pleasure of meeting Steve at Neighbour to Neighbour. He volunteered as a tutor in our reading program for many years. I have memories of Steve tutoring at Riddell School and the wonderful relationships he forged with the students. I believe he was also a board member for Neighbour to Neighbour. His commitment to community was heart-warming and appreciated. A lovely man, passionate about learning, I remember him fondly. On behalf of Neighbour to Neighbour I want to express our deepest condolences to your family.
I am sad to lose a friend who I first knew at boarding school in China. Representing the Chefoo Schools Association, I wish to convey condolences from Chefusians from many parts of the world – Canada, the US, UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, even China. I have informed many of them of Stephen’s passing.
For years Stephen attended our annual Chefoo Reunions in Toronto. In 1991 my wife Sandra and I visited our boarding school at Kuling, Jiangxi province, China, organized by Stephen, and the following year to the Canyons of Arizona and Utah. Many fond memories of Stephen and Esther.