Charles E. “Duke” Austin, age 83, passed away on Sunday, March 8, 2020 at his home. He was born on January 20, 1937 in Madison, the son of Thomas and Adeline (Blankenheim) Austin. Duke graduated from Madison East High School in 1956. He was then drafted into the US Army and served for 2 years. He was united in marriage to Dolores “Jean” Walsvick on October 26, 1963 and they were blessed with four children.
Duke worked as a heavy equipment operator in road construction for many years, beginning at Ryan, Schultz and Dahl and later retiring from WK Construction in 1998. He was a member of the Operator’s Union, Local #139 for over 40 years.
Duke enjoyed fishing on Lake Mendota, and hunting with his boys and grandchildren. He also enjoyed woodworking, fixing/tinkering with mechanical things as well as playing cards with his Card Club.
He is survived by his 4 children: Dawn (Gary) Keys, Dale (Joanne) Austin, Dahn (Jean) Austin and Debra (Jason) Story; eight grandchildren, Andrew (Brianne) Keys, Ashleigh (Tyler) Sluder, Anthony “Tony” Keys, Julie and Kelly Austin, and Thomas, Timothy and Katelyn Story; sister, Virginia Penas and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, his parents, sister, Mildred “Millie” Randall, and brothers-in-law, Jack Randall, John Penas and Roger Reis.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Avenue. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until the time of service on Thursday at the funeral home.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at Agrace HospiceCare.
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