Leslie “Clay” Austin, 72, of Hartsburg, passed away Friday, June 9, 2017, at Boone Hospital from complications of a blood clot in the lung. He was born July 24, 1944, in Williamsburg, the son of the late William Everett Austin and the late Pearl Leota (Chism) Austin.
Clay was united in marriage to Brenda Wilson on July 2, 1994. Clay was a life long learner who graduated from Fulton High School in 1962. He attended the University of Missouri where he earned his Bachelors of Education and later earned his Masters in Education degree, with a Specialist degree in Educational Administration.
“Mr. Austin” as so many in the educational community called him, began his 50+ year teaching career in 1966 as a social studies teacher at Jefferson Jr. High School in Columbia, MO. During his 50+ years teaching, he served as a science teacher at Russell Elementary, a Principal for Ridgeway, Benton, and Two Mile Prairie Elementary, all in the Columbia Public School System before he retired in 1996. Even in retirement, Mr. Austin continued his time in the classroom by serving as a substitute teacher for the Southern Boone School District until his passing. Following his school retirement, Clay worked for 10 years at Sentinel Hardware as their “product placement engineer,” as he was fondly known.
When Clay was not in the classroom, he enjoyed entertaining family and friends with his cookouts, his wagon rides, and backyard baseball games. Clay and Brenda enjoyed many years of country western dancing and clogging. He was a member of Goshen Primitive Baptist Church, Ashland Masonic Lodge No. 156, A.F. & A.M., Ashland Chapter #309, Order of the Eastern Star, where he was a Past Patron, and served as Dad Advisor for many years of Ashland Assembly #66, International Order of Rainbow for Girls. He was also a member of Ashland Optimist Club.
Clay’s memory will be cherished by his wife of 23 years, Brenda; his two children Les Austin (Taressa) of Millersburg and Lisa Barnum (Jeff) of Rancho Palos Verdes, California; his two step-daughters Shelly Helms (Myron) of Ashland and Lori Wilson of Ashland; his 2 grandchildren, Brookelle and Brynna Barnum; six step-grandchildren, Alyssa Seiter (Jacob), Jordan, Tanner and Ellie Helms, Amanda Darwent (Lee), Kaila Gardner (Jake); 6 step-great-grandchildren, Ethan Seiter; Austin, Jonathan and Layla Darwent, Zaylee and Jaxton Pollard; one sister, Leota Mae Baber (Jesse); sisters-in-law, Helen Austin, Joyce Austin, Beverly Steelman, and Bonita Lenger; brothers-in-law Barrett Glascock (Beth) and Bruce Glasscock, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Johnny, Leland, and Gene Austin; one sister, Joan Austin Gowin; and one brother-in-law, Jesse Steelman.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at Goshen Primitive Baptist Church, 500 Cedar Tree Lane, Hartsburg, MO, with Elder Jim Bowen officiating. Burial will be in Goshen Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2017, at Robinson Funeral Home, 601 N. Henry Clay Blvd., Ashland, MO. Memorial contributions are suggested to Ashland Masonic Lodge building maintenance fund, Ashland Rainbow Assembly, or Goshen Cemetery Fund.