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Visitation information
Centenary United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
646 W 5th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Saturday, Nov 06, 2010

Service information
Centenary United Methodist Church
646 W. 5th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Saturday, Nov 06, 2010
2 p.m.

Dan Walter Austell
Mar 08, 1914 - Oct 11, 2010
Arbor Acres, Winston-Salem, NC
Winston-Salem – Mr. Dan Walter Austell died on Monday, October 11, 2010 at the Fitzgerald Healthcare Center of Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Home. He was born on March 8, 1914 to Lullie Milam and Frank Giles Austell in Spartanburg, SC. He was one of eleven siblings.
Mr. Austell began his life’s work in the theatre business at age 14 in the sign shop at a theatre in Spartanburg, SC. The only interruption to his career came during his service with the 807th Tank Destroyers, U.S. Army, during World War II arriving in France on D-Day plus 20 and serving until the war ended. He returned to Lexington, NC to resume his career in theatres in Lexington, High Point and finally in Winston-Salem where he managed the Winston, Carolina, Thruway and Thunderbird Drive-In Theatres. He retired in 1979 as District Manager for Eastern North Carolina ABC Theatres. Mr. Austell was active in Rotary for over 40 years, serving as past president. He also was a member of the Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts of America as an adult scouter. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church and served as a volunteer in many capacities.
Mr. Austell is survived by his wife of 63 years, Margaret Sparger Austell; one son, Dan W. Austell, Jr. and wife, Barbara; two grandchildren: Dan W. Austell, III of Washington, DC and Jennifer Austell of Charlotte, NC and three great-grandchildren: Alexis, Sara and Anthony Austell, along with numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Frank Sparger Austell.
A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church, 646 W. Fifth Street, Winston-Salem, NC on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. to be followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. A private inurnment will precede the service at Centenary United Methodist Church Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, please make any memorials to the Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 6600 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27106 or the Winston-Salem Foundation, 860 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.
Mr. Austell’s family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staff of the Fitzgerald Health Care Center at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Home for their love and care. Salem Funeral Home is assisting the Austell family.
Online condolences may be made through www.salemfh.com.
Mr. Austell was definately one of the most important "Role Models" of my early years. I have many fond memories in Scouting, the Kiddy Shows and helping make screen print signs with Mr. Austell. The world is a better place today because of his influence in my life and I am sure of many others. TO: Dan Jr. and Mrs. Margaret Austell,I am so sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing a wonderful Husband and Father with the world. I will never forget him or Frank. JIM (Gizmo)
Tom L. Noffsinger, M.A.
There are only a few people in my world who are close in my memories as Mr. Austell. I will cherish his honest, calm, authorative manner. I will always remember his warmth. I fondly recall that little grin on his face when he cracked one of those little jokes of his. The family was as my own for all these years. Mr. Austell gave thousands of young people a safe place to go on hundreds of Saturday mornings. We watched 1930's horror movies, cartoons, and laughed at the Three Stooges. Goodness only knows how much Sun Drop Cola we drank! My sister and my friends were given opportunities to play music on stage during many of those Saturdays. Mr. Austell, to us, was a 1960's Ziegfried in Winston-Salem. No matter how lousy we were, we were The Beatles in his smiling eyes! I cannot adequately express my love for this man and his family. He was a good man and a wonderful spirit. I will miss him forever. My most sincere condolences go to Mrs. Austell, Dan, and Babs.
Catherine Bickerstaff
To dear Margaret and family, It was so encouraging to read the other messages about Dan and his gift of love for young people. He was always a gentleman, happy and outgoing. I remember visiting your home at Arbor Acres with Ned and Louise, and having dinner with you both at Ryan's. I send love and sympathy to you all. (Louise's sister)
James F. Harris, Ph. D.
Dear Mrs. Austell and family, I am so saddened to learn of Mr. Austell's passing. I was one of his teen age boys who worked at the Carolina Theatre in Lexington, NC, during 1951-53. How I treasure the lessons he taught me. He was a wonderful and understanding person to work for. I have always held him in highest esteem and will continue to do so. God bless you all and help you through this difficult and sad time.
Rick Stegall
To the Austell family: I was saddened to hear of Mr. Austell's passing. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. What an awesome legacy he left us all. When I saw the obituary, memories of my early years at the Carolina Theater came flooding back into my mind. I can see Mr. Austell standing at the front entrance of the theater, cheerfully greeting us kids while at the same time non-verbally letting us know that mis-behaving would not be tolerated. What a lasting impression those moments have made on me and thousands of other mischievious 10 year olds. What a tremendous feeling it must be for the family knowing how many young lives he positively touched. Godspeed. Rick Stegall, Winston-Salem.
Valora Strickland
I was saddened to get the news of Mr. Austell's death. The men of the 807 TD BN of WW2 were and are a special group of men. I appreciate his service and thank him for his part in preserving my liberty. On behalf of the 807 TD BN family, we send you our deepest sympathy. Valora Strickland co-editor 807 TD BN Newsletter & daughter of the late Stanley Strickland, Company B, 807 TD BN
Judy Boyd
Mrs. Austell, Dan, and Babs, I send my sympathy, love and prayers, as you grieve the loss of Mr. Austell. He was a special, gentle, caring man, who touched the lives of so many. May the Lord comfort and strengthen all of you during the following months of grief. Sincerely, Judy Boyd
Patricia Price Lentz
I was so sorry to hear of Mr. Austell's passing. I just now found his obituary while searching for some old pictures of the Center Theater in downtown High Point. Mr. Austell was to kind to me, my sister and our good friend. We were a trio that sang on the Kiddie Show almost every Saturday morning in the late 50s. In fact, Mr. Austell gave our trio the name "The Melodears". He even took us to sing for one of his club meetings. He gave me a special autographed picture of Elvis, but it was destroyed in a house fire many years later. Please know that we loved Mr. Austell and his kindness to us. My older brother also worked for him as an usher at the Center. His name was LeMonde Price. Thanks you for sharing your husband and father with all of us. Sincerely, Patricia Price Lentz


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