Jerry Wayne Austin, 77, taught thousands to drive at Farriss Driving School

Jerry Wayne Austin

WILMINGTON — Jerry Wayne Austin, 77, passed away, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Jerry was born Sept. 2, 1943, in the same house his mother was born located in Smethport, Ashe County, to the late Bessie Combs and Nallie Austin. His official birthdate is Sept. 12, 1943, as it took his brother 10 days to make the journey to West Jefferson to record his birth.

He moved to Kannapolis, where he grew up and met his wife, Jo Anne Hinson. He served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, first in Germany, and finishing in Goldsboro. He moved to Wilmington in 1965, where he managed the Shoe Show on Oleander Drive for 32 years, retiring in 1998.

For the next 15 years, he worked with his family as a driving instructor for Farriss Driving School. He taught thousands of adults and students how to drive. Jerry loved sports. He spent many years coaching baseball for Counts Automotive at Winter Park Optimist. He was an avid sports fan and followed college football and basketball, where he liked Carolina, but his heart was always pulling for Duke.

In recent years, he loved spending his day catching up with old friends, looking for a good hotdog, or just reminiscing. He was a great example of Christ-like service and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jerry was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Jo Anne.

He is survived by his sister, Patsy Austin Ajala, of Gastonia; three children, Jeff Austin, and his wife, Julie, Joey Austin, and his wife, Shellie, and Jana Austin, all of Wilmington; and niece, Wendy Ludwig, and her husband, Jeff, of Wilmington. Jerry was the proud grandfather of nine grandchildren and one grand-nephew, Macey, Tommy, Jeffery, Jake, Jaret, Hannah, Luke, Kate, Lauren and Coleby.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, July 26, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 514 South College Road, followed by graveside services in Greenlawn Memorial Park in Wilmington.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

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