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AUSTIN, Grey Howick Merivale

January 14, 1922 – January 28, 2013

“Sunset and Evening Star and one clear call for me”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Grey Austin, beloved father and grandfather, and husband of the late Anna, passed away in Calgary on January 28, 2013 at the age of 91 years. Born in Bridgetown, Barbados, Grey had many fond memories of growing up outdoors in this lovely island environment.

Grey was a graduate of Harrison College and studied Classics for one year at Codrington College, Barbados. He joined the Royal Navy on December 7, 1941 and received his first commission as a sub-lieutenant. He became a full Lieutenant and served as navigator on several ships involved in anti-submarine tactics.

After the war, his desire to see more of the world brought him to Montreal, where he received his BSc in Geology from McGill University. In 1949, his love of adventure brought him west. After working as an exploration geologist for Mobil Oil, he left the corporate world in 1968, founding his own company, Austin Exploration. Starting his own company was among the best decisions of his life. He took enormous pleasure in a long and successful career. He was proud to be recognized as a Life Member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

In 1954, he met Anna MacInnis at an Allied Arts Centre musical evening at Coste House. They were married August 20, 1955 and for 52 years shared a mutual love of music and the arts. Sadly, Anna passed away March 24, 2008.

Grey is survived by his sister Rosemary Bladon; son Charles (Isabella); daughters, Janet (Ashley), Patricia Austin-Edy (Brian), Joan Simmins (Geoffrey); grandchildren, David, Michael, Andrew and Rowan; and many nieces and nephews. Grey was predeceased by his parents William and Edna Merivale-Austin; brothers Bruce Merivale-Austin and Robin Austin. Grey will be remembered for his kindness and respect for others, his integrity and intelligence and his good-humoured optimism. He was greatly loved and will be sadly missed.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.

In living memory of Grey Austin a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Glen Johnston :

    A gentleman and a scholar is how I would describe Grey Austin. He was different, a cut-above the many geologists employed by Mobil Oil Canada.

    A life well lived. My condolences to his family.

    Glen Johnston.

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  2. Andrew Church and Lori Chapman :

    To Joan, Geoffrey, David and Michael,

    We were so sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

    Andrew and Lori

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  3. Lionel & Jeanette Drayton :

    Sincere condolences from a lifelong friend. We met at Harrison College and Grey spent most of the school vacations with us on the sugar plantation or at the seaside. After school we went in different directions, but reunited in Calgary in 1949. We were at his and Anna’s wedding and remained in touch over all the years since. He was a true and faithful friend and a great gentleman. My wife joins me in these sentiments.
    Lionel Drayton

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  4. With my deepest sympathy. I have known Grey since the 1950’s when he worked for Sohio Pet. in Regina. We have been good friends ever since and I had great respect for his moral values, loyalty, honesty and sense of humor. Grey joined a small business that I set up called the Canadian Log Library and I am sure the well information that it provided helped him in his success with Austin Exploration. He used to remind me he was the fifth person to join. I have kept in touch with Grey until recently when I could not contact him by phone. Please accept my apology for not not being able to attend his funeral on Feb. 4th.
    Ted O’Bertos

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  5. With my deepest sympathy
    I have known Grey since the 1950’when he worked for Sohio pete in Regina.we have been good friends since and I had great respect for his moral values loyalty, honesty and sense of humor. I have kept in touch with Grey until recently when I could not contact him by phone. Please accept my apology for not being able to attend his funeral Feb 4.

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  6. Howard and Rachelle Shubert :

    Dear Joan, Geoffrey, David and Michael,

    We were so sorry to learn of your loss. We never met your father, Joan, but the stories we’ve heard over the years along with the photographs and obituary convey a vital and fascinating life. We are thinking of you at this time.

    Rachelle and Howard

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  7. Jonathan and Kathi Horlick :

    Dear Austin family;

    Kathi and I want you to know how much we enjoyed being neighbors of your parents (across the street from 2000 onward) on Britannia Drive. Your father introduced himself to us shortly after we moved in, as the Mayor of Britannia, and he was the best neighbor one could have. We wish we could have gotten to know your mother better, but circumstances intervened. Many conversations with your father occurred on the Drive and Jonathan learned many interesting things from your father’s experiences in the oil and gas industry. Seeing your father out clearing the sidewalk and putting up the barricades on slippery streches are lasting memories of a wonderful neighbor. Our sincere condolences. Jonathan and Kathi Horlick

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  8. Katherine Crerar :

    Dear Joan, Geoffrey, Patricia, Janet and famiies, our thoughts are with you today as you say good bye to your dad.

    What a wonderful, interesting life he led and how proud of all of you he must have been. May your memories of happier times sustain you now.

    Much love, Katherine and Steven

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  9. “Bunchie” was my first cousin and my favourite cousin. I am Stella Davis’ daughter. I remember B visiting us in Halifax when I was a kid of about ten. He was 12 years older and hung out with my older brother and sister. He was always fun and very good to me. Later, just by coincidence, I knew Anna who lived nearby.That was before she braved the Wild West. B kept in touch with Joan a great deal up untill a few years ago, when he disappeared from the telephone. Joan, sadly, died two years ago and I still miss her. Brother Bill (88) lives in Ottawa and is still going strong. My husband and I lived in Montreal but have retired. You must be proud of your father for the many challenges he faced and his long and productive life.
    My condolences to all of you, Kathy Silver (first cousin once removed)

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  10. Charles and Gerry Barlow :

    To Janet, Patricia, Joan and Charles – When we returned from CA this week, Chuck had saved us the obit on Grey. Our sincere condolences – he was a super neighbor and a great man. He and I did many a-walk around the neighborhood and he was such an interesting person to visit with. Our thoughts are with you. A
    ll the best, The Barlows

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  11. Colleen Cochrane :

    Joan, Patricia and families,
    My sympathies on your loss. I’ll remember him in the office working on a deal – smiling.
    Colleen

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  12. Pip de Benedetti :

    I visited Grey 3-4 times a week through Home Instead Senior Care and looked forward to each time I went. From his cheerful “bonjour” to our discussions about his growing up in Barbados, joining the RNVR on Pearl Harbor Day and our talks about his amazing book collection, every visit I learnt more and more about such a well read, well travelled man. My condolences to all of you on losing your father and grandfather, Grey Howick Merivale Austin, the best name ever for such a kind, wonderful gentleman.

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