Walter B. Austin, public works foreman

November 21, 2009

Walter Breeden Austin, a retired Department of Public Works foreman, died of congestive heart failure Nov. 13 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Cedonia resident was 81.

Born in Baltimore and raised on North Spring Street, he attended Dunbar High School. As a young man, he worked at neighborhood movie theaters, including the old Ritz, Radio, Dunbar and Harlem.

"He took care of everything at the theaters," said Frances Carr, a niece. "On Saturdays he would take his daughter, his nieces and nephews and cousins. We stayed all day for the cartoons and the serials."

Mr. Austin later worked in wastewater management for the city of Baltimore. He rose to become a foreman and supervised a work crew. He retired nearly 20 years ago.

Mr. Austin followed evangelist Billy Graham and enjoyed gospel music. He also liked to prepare Sunday chicken dinners for his family.

Services were held Friday.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Marjorie Chambers; three sons, Walter Austin Jr., Eric Smith and Antonio Austin; a daughter, Gloria Jenkins, all of Baltimore; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. His first wife, Olivia Aus

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