The Transylvania Times -

William "Bill" St. Clair Austin


August 14, 2017

William “Bill” St. Clair Austin, 96, died peacefully at his residence in College Walk, Aug. 9, 2017 after a period of declining health.

Born in 1921 to William and Mildred Austin in Oneida, N.Y., he moved to Brevard with his parents and little sister in 1925. He attended the Brevard public schools (where he was known as St. Clair) and graduated from Brevard Junior College.

He was attending North Carolina State University in Raleigh when the United States entered World War II. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps (where he became “Bill”) and was honorably discharged in 1946, following his return from the South Pacific.

He then attended the Chicago Art Institute on the GI Bill and worked in Chicago for several years. He moved to Brevard permanently to help his sisters run the family business following the death of their parents in an automobile accident in 1954.

He was an accomplished artist, an ardent reader and lover of cats, history, ancient architecture and sculpture, classical music, old cars, trains and vintage aircraft. He greatly enjoyed tinkering with small motors.

He loved the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina and was an enthusiastic hiker when physically able. He counted university professors among his closest friends.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Jeanette.

Survivors include sisters, Patricia (Pat) Austin, of Brevard and Joan Keirstead and her husband, Richard, of Pisgah Forest; and nephews, Steven and James Keirstead; plus grandnephew, Nicholas Keirstead, and grandniece, Cecilia Keirstead.

A family service will be held in the future.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Transylvania County Library 212 South Gaston Street, Brevard, N.C. 28712 or to the charity of one’s choice.

To leave a condolence for the family of William “Bill” Austin, visit “obituaries” at

Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is caring for the family.


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