James Elijah Austin, 86, passed away May 6, 2020, at a Bangor hospital. He was born June 1, 1933, in Castine, son of Herman and Olive (Heath) Austin.
James was a carpenter, contractor, sawmill operator, craftsman and artisan for many years on the peninsula. For 48 years he owned and operated H.W. Austin and Sons with his brother, Norris. He graduated from Bucksport High School in 1951. He was drafted into the Army soon after and served in Japan during the Korean War. James served as a member of the George Stevens Academy Joint Board and Trustees for 30 years until 2003. He was a current member of the Penobscot Historical Society and past member of the Wilson Museum Board of Directors. James was a member of the Rising Star Lodge No. 4. Over three decades, along with his brother, he built and remodeled countless homes on the peninsula and renovated many of the historical houses in Castine. H.W. Austin and Sons also helped renovate the Alamo Theater in Bucksport, the home of Northeast Historic Film.
James is survived by his children Elizabeth (Libby) Rosemeier and husband, Scott, of Blue Hill, Marjorie Gray and husband, David, of Blue Hill, Jodelle Austin of Portland and Ron Austin and wife, Ozlem, of Los Altos, Calif., and daughter-in-law Sally Austin; grandchildren Jessaca Kennedy, Jamie MacNair, Jennifer Gray, Sarah Cutter and Christopher Gray; great-grandchildren Natalie, Mercedes, Isabelle, Olivia, Skylar, Darrell, Sophia, Avery, Whitney and Lucy; sister Patricia Snell; brother Norris (Buster) Austin; brother in-law Halford Grindell; and sisters in-law Margaret Austin and Roberta Burbank.
He was predeceased by his wife, Esther (Leach) Austin, and son Benjamin James Austin.
A service to honor James will take place at a time when we are able to gather. Donations in his memory can be made to George Stevens Academy or the Penobscot Historical Society.
Condolences may be expressed at www.mitchelltweedie-young.com.