TOPSHAM — Stephen Francis Austin, 73, died Dec. 2 after a brief struggle with brain cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family.

Austin was born on Sept. 25, 1939, in Brattleboro, Vt., the son of James A. and Euretta (Fuller) Austin. He graduated from St. Michael’s High School, class of 1957, and then earned his bachelor’s degree at Saint Michael’s College in Winooski Park, Vt. In 1961, Austin was awarded a National Defense Fellowship to continue his studies in chemistry. He was awarded his master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Vermont in 1963. 

Austin began his career in research and development with E.I. DuPont in Chattanooga, Tenn. In 1965, he went to work for the plastics division of General Electric Company as a development chemist in polycarbonate research. In 1970, he was transferred to the division’s headquarters in Pittsfield, Mass. During the last two decades of his career, Austin was the division manager of regulatory relations. After 38 years of dedicated service with the company, he retired in 2003 and moved with his wife, Linda, to Maine in 2005.

He enjoyed Maine’s rugged coast, sunsets and crystal-clear air. He was a prolific reader and enjoyed stimulating conversations. He enjoyed Sudoku, crossword puzzles, gardening and teaching his grandchildren about the states and their capitals. He always had a ready smile when greeting people. But his family was his greatest joy. 

Austin is survived by his wife of 46 years, Linda; his two sons, Stephen F. Austin, of Manchester, Conn., and Jeffrey A. Austin and his wife, Megan, of Brunswick; his grandchildren, Blakely Elizabeth Austin and Charles Valleau Austin; his brothers, James F. Austin, of Burlington, Vt., Edward M. Austin and his wife, Susan, of Pittsburgh, and Paul M. Austin and his wife, Mary, of Essex Junction, Vt.; his brother David’s widow, Pauline Austin, of Rutland, Vt.; his cousins, Jean Medrek, of East Longmeadow, Mass., Elaine and her husband, Walter Meyer, of Townshend, Vt., Larry and his wife, Judy Austin, of Montpelier, Vt., Carol and her husband, Bob Johnson, of West Chesterfield, N.H.; and many nephews and nieces.

He was predeceased by his father and mother, James and Euretta Austin, and his brother, David A. Austin.

In the spring, Austin’s family will bring him back to Brattleboro, Vt., for a funeral at St. Michael’s Catholic Church and burial in the Austin family section of St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery. A family celebration of Austin’s life will follow.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation in his memory to the cause of their choice. Online condolences may be expressed at

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Stephen Francis Austin

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