Robert Austin

Robert Austin

CHAMPAIGN – Robert L. Austin, 70, of Champaign left this life at 8:15 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 31, 2013) at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center Champaign-Urbana Chapel, 710 N. Neil St., Champaign. Officiating will be Pastor Michael Giboney. Burial will be in Lincoln Memorial Gardens in Urbana. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday.

Please join the family in sharing memories on Robert's tribute wall at

Robert was born Dec. 10, 1942, in Conway, Ark. He was the son of Hardin and Freddie Mae Ester Hardin. He married Barbara J. Wade on July 28, 2003. She survives.

Also surviving are his mother, Freddie Mae Ester of Marianna, Ark.; four sons, Tony Austin of Chicago, Derrick Austin of Clarksville, Tenn., Robert Austin of Chicago and Eugene Jackson of Champaign; six daughters, Latonya Austin, Natasha (Samuel) Coleman, Dominique Jackson, Kendra Jackson, Shannon (Steve) Blount and Keymara Jackson, all of Champaign; three brothers; and six sisters. Also surviving are 34 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father and a brother, Hardin.

Robert drove a truck for Able Oil for 40 years. He retired in 2009. He belonged to the Teamsters Union 731.

Robert enjoyed fishing and he loved watching westerns on television.

His family will always remember him as a wonderful man, who was caring and always provided for them.