PENOBSCOT – Benjamin James Austin “Bumpy”, 58, born Feb. 14, 1956, died May 3, 2014. He was born in Castine and lived his life in Penobscot.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sally (Gordon) Austin; his daughters, Jessaca and husband, Tracy Kennedy of Orland, Jamie and husband, Jesse MacNair of Penobscot and Jennifer and husband, Darin Gray of Sedgwick. His reasons for living each day to the “funnest” were his grandchildren, Natalie “Nat-Nat”, Mercedes “Sadie”, Isabelle “Izzy”, Olivia “O”, Skylar “Sky-Guy”, Darrell Benjamin and Avery “MacDoogle MacDuff”; his father, James E. Austin of Penobscot; his sisters, Libby and husband, Scott Rosemeier, Margie and husband, David Gray and Jodelle Austin and partner, Bill Betters; brother, Ronald Austin and wife, Ozlem Ozturk; sisters-in-law, Janet Lymburner, Evon Facemyer and April Gordon; brothers-in-law, Johnny, William and his wife, Sam and Bruce Gordon. Ben was predeceased by his mother, Esther J. (Leach) Austin, aka “Sarge” in 2006.
Ben is a 1974 graduate of George Stevens Academy. He worked for H.W. Austin and Sons until 1981, when he went to work for St. Regis Paper Company. Ben has been battling heart disease for many years and a short battle with cancer. He died at home with his family around him. Ben turned his disability into an opportunity of becoming a wonderful grandfather. He looked at everyday of the past 17 years as a gift. To quote Ben, “Everyday above ground was a good day no matter what!” He was lucky enough to be able to teach each of his 7 grandchildren to appreciate the many things he did from making “Bumpy Cookies” to building a house starting with a simple piece of wood. He spent almost everyday with at least one of them and enjoyed watching them play any sport. Any child that spent anytime with him would call him Bumpy before walking away. Ben will be missed by many young and all those young at heart with even the slightest sense of humor.
Benjamin grew up with many special aunts, uncles and cousins here in Penobscot. He has many nieces and nephews and several great-nieces and great-nephews. A very special thank you to friend, David Pyne who traveled to spend time with Ben laughing and telling old stories in his final days and to his family who came to build him a ramp for his home. A special thank you to Jane Gordon, Ben’s mother-in-law who cared for him for several years so family life could go on as close to normal as possible.
Visiting hours are being held 6-8 p.m. Wednesday May 7, at Mitchell-Tweedie Funeral Home, 28 Elm St., Bucksport. A memorial service will be held 1p.m. Thursday, May 8 at the Elm Street Congregational Church, 31 Elm St., Bucksport, followed by a reception at 160 Sis Porter Road, Sedgwick. Those who would like to remember Ben in a special way are welcome to donate to one of the following activities; “Penobscot Days Fireworks Display” C/O Penobscot Fire Department, P.O. Box 20, Penobscot, ME 04476; Bucksport Youth Softball, C/O Seaboard Federal Credit, PO Box G, Bucksport, ME 04416.