In Loving Memory

Leonard W. Van Austin, d. April 16, 2014



In Loving Memory

 December 29, 1951 – April 16, 2014



Robertsdale, AL

   Leonard Van Austin, 62, of Robertsdale, passed away, Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  He was born in Chicago, IL on December 29, 1951 to Leonard R. and Ethel ( Langbeen)  Van Austin.  He grew up in Calumet City and graduated from TF North High School. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained at Great Lakes Naval Academy. After training he served on the U.S.S. Shreveport LPD-12 from 1970-1974. After leaving the service he received an associate’s degree from The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

He became a merchant seaman engineer traveling the Great Lakes with Hannah Marine in Lemont, IL and North American Towing Company. He worked for the companies over 15 years before deciding to stay on land. He then went to work for Urban Engineering who later became Johnson Controls. He retired as a stationery engineer from Water Tower Place in Chicago, IL.

Leonard and his wife Pamela (Sweatt) were married on December 18th, 1981 in Lansing, IL where they resided until Leonard retired. They moved to Robertsdale, AL in 2007.  Not being content to be retired and sit at home, went to work for Wal-Mart in Gulf Shores, AL from 2008 until his death.

 Leonard was a faithful, devoted and loving husband and son. He was a man of integrity, well read, sincere, intelligent, dedicated, dependable, quick witted, and hard working.    

He leaves behind his wife Pam of 32 years; his father Leonard R. and step-mother InaBelle Van Austin of Elberta, AL;  aunt Gloria Margraff of Munster, IN; sisters-in-law Debra (Greg) Altgilbers of Dyer, IN, Catherine (Wally) Blink of Cedar Lake, IN;  nephews John Theisen of Phoenix, AZ, Peter (Mary) Theisen of Bonfield, IL, and Robert Blink of Cedar Lake, IN; niece Brittanie Hornsby of Dyer, IN; 6 great-nieces and nephews, numerous cousins and dear friend Mike (Mary) Barss of Kildeer, IL.

He was preceded in death by his mother Ethel and his sister and brother-in-law Gloria Jean (John) Buikema of Grant Park, IL.

A Celebration of Leonard’s life will be held at 10:00am, Saturday, April 19, 2014, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 13220 Main St. in Elberta, AL.  The family will receive friends immediately following the service.

Memorials may be made to Elsanor Volunteer Fire Department, US Hwy 90, Robertsdale, AL, 36567 or St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Elberta, AL or the donor’s choice.   Expressions of condolence may be offered at .  Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home & Crematory, 7951 American Way, Daphne, AL 36526.




  1. Renee Dykstra

    Pam and Family,
    You have my deepest sympathy.

  2. Mary Jo Pepper

    Uncle Red & Pam & the rest of the family…I am so sorry for your loss…This was a shock to say the least. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see both of you last month. It was wonderful seeing you but I surely didn’t think it was going to be my last time I see Lenny (as we always knew him as). May he rest in peace…Pam & family just know he is an angel on your shoulder. He will always be with you. We love you all very much & are with you in spirit today & always. Hang in there..xoxo

  3. Jill Langbeen

    Deepest sympathies from our family. Thinking of you through the miles. Love you and sending hugs across the miles.

  4. Beth Hemmerich

    Sam, was so shocked to read your Lenny had passed on. You both were so happy. He will watch over you from heaven. How special to be joining Jesus this week. If I can do anything or listen….let me know. Love you

  5. Howard Van Nostrand

    So sorry for your loss. One of my best friends on the Sherveport. He was always happy, I can still see that orange Karmann Ghia he had. He spent a few weekends with my family when we hit the states from a cruise. He fit right in like he knew my Grand Parents ,parents sisters and brothers. I have a wooden Buddha he gave me for my wedding he would say and do ” Rub My Belly”.


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