Obituary: Rear Admiral Robert C. Austin, father of Susan Austin of Shelton

Rear Admiral Robert C. Austin, husband of the late Joyce Ann Bisese for 49 years, died earlier this month.

He was born on Sept. 5, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduation from Maury High School in Norfolk, Va., he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He obtained a competitive fleet appointment to the Naval Academy and was commissioned in June, 1954. After attending U.S. Submarine School, he was assigned to the USS Thornback. He attended the Naval Post Graduate School and earned a master's of science degree in physics in 1963.

He attended Nuclear Power Training School and served on the USS Thornback, USS Grampus, USS Triton, and the USS John Adams. He then was commanding officer of the USS Finback from 1968 through 1972. After command, he was the prospective commanding officer instructor for the Commander U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Rear Admiral Austin then commanded Submarine Development Squadron Twelve and the Naval Submarine School in Groton, from 1974 to 1978. He returned to serve as chief of staff Submarine Atlantic Fleet where he was selected for flag rank in January, 1980. Rear Admiral Austin was assigned as deputy commissioner, US Component of the US USSR Standing Consultative Commission and as director for International Negotiations on the Plans and Policy Directorate.

Rear Admiral Austin served as the chief of Naval Technical Training, followed by his return to Naval Postgraduate School where he served as superintendent until he completed active duty in 1989. He was honored to serve his country and truly relished his military career where he was awarded many decorations and medals, his family said.

He married Joyce Ann Bisese, his wife of 49 years, on April 22, 1959. She predeceased him in 2006.

His daughter, Susan Austin, taught in all the New Canaan Schools for 22 years before becoming a principal in Monroe. She is now the associate superintendent of schools in Stamford, and lives in Shelton.

Rear Admiral Austin is also survived by his other children, James and Tamara Austin of Ledyard, Robert and Jean Austin of Yorktown, Va., and Cecelia and Jamal Noorzoy of Pebble Beach, Calif.; 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Calling hours were held on Thursday, Nov. 7, at Byles-Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames St., followed by a prayer service and reception.