Mrs. Norma Ann Rainey Austin, 77, of Ashburn quietly passed away at her home early Wednesday morning, July 24, 2013, after a fighting a valiant battle with cancer for the past four months. She had been surrounded by her family and dear friends since the beginning of her illness.
Mrs. Austin was born in the Amboy community in 1936, to the late Benjamin Franklin and Selma Cleghorn Rainey, where she was raised in a hardworking family on their family farm. She attended school in Rebecca and Ashburn and graduated from Ashburn High School in 1954. Mrs. Austin has continued a close association with her fellow classmates through the years.
Mrs. Austin was married to the late James Owen Austin in Savannah on September 3, 1955, three months after meeting on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. Mr. Austin was stationed at Hunter Airfield at the time and Mrs. Austin was working as a secretary. They were soon transferred to Europe, where Mr. Austin served during the Korean War. After returning to the states in 1958, they lived in Macon for about eight years before moving back to the Rainey family home in Amboy in 1966.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Austin were from large families and knew that they also wanted a large family. They were the proud parents of six children who grew up in Turner County, attended Turner County Schools, and took their places as adults with interest in their communities and concern for others. Mrs. Austin was a homemaker for many years, caring for her children and also for her mother who lived with the family until her death in 1978. Mrs. Austin also helped her husband with their clothing store, Austin’s, for many years upon his retirement from the Air Force until they closed the store in 1982. After Mr. Austin’s unexpected death, she worked for many years as a paraprofessional with the Turner County School System, retiring at the end of the 2005-2006 school year, and began keeping her great-grandchildren until her health declined at the end of April. She was a quiet, caring wife and mother who was completely dedicated to her family and her Lord.
Mrs. Austin enjoyed reading, studying the Bible, and spending time with her family. She was well-known for being a superb cook, often sharing her delicious goodies with others. She had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing, playing the piano, and listening to music. She was a faithful member of Ashburn First Baptist Church, where she was a member of the Joy Sunday School Class.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Austin was preceded in death by her siblings: John, Robert, Harry, and David Rainey and her sisters, Mae Rainey Ashley and Ruby Rainey Ware.
Survivors include her children and their spouses, Darrell D. (Kay) Austin of Cordele, Vickie A. (Greg) Brown of Ashburn, Donna A. (Ken) NeSmith of Sycamore, C. Alan Austin of Madison, Janice A. (Grant) York of Tifton, and Bruce S. (Greta) Austin on Leesburg; nineteen grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister, Verlon Rainey McHugh, of Ashburn.
The graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 26, 2013, at Rose Hill Cemetery with Reverend David Smith officiating. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 PM on Thursday, July 25, 2013, in the sanctuary of Ashburn First Baptist Church.
Flowers will be accepted, but for those who wish, donations may be made to Ashburn First Baptist Church for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Inc. in Baxley.