The brightest lights burn out the fastest.
The world became a brighter place on March 1, 1989 when Austin Kyle Stanfill arrived. For the next 24 years, Austin's light touched many people, spreading his special brand of happiness and zest for life amongst his family and many friends. That light burned out in this world much too quickly on May 3, 2013. Now Austin's light must live on in the hearts of those he touched and loved.
Austin never did anything in half measures. And he always marched to his own tune. Not surprisingly then, his motto always was: Find the line, and then step firmly across.
From childhood Austin constantly strove to learn about himself and the world around him. In that process he was guided and challenged by his teachers. First at The Awty School, where he began his love of the French language, through his many years at the School of the Woods, where he particularly loved the annual adventure trips and formed many life-long friendships, to his special time at the University of St. Thomas, where his professors not only challenged his mind, but he was able to indulge his passion for life abroad, studying in Strasbourg, France and Taiwan.
Austin was an honors graduate of both the Woods High School and the University of St. Thomas. While at St. Thomas, Austin held several positions in the Center for International Studies micro-credit program, now the Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP), from director of grant writing up to his senior year when he proudly served as the President of the Program.
The SEP embodied everything Austin was passionate about. He was able to network with people of all walks of life, raising money so that the Program could provide business development loans to start up and other small businesses in underdeveloped parts of the world. The SEP truly makes a difference in many people's lives every day. That is what Austin's life was dedicated to.
Most recently, after being recognized as the Outstanding Graduate in International Studies from St. Thomas, Austin had been accepted on scholarship to pursue his Master's degree in international economic development at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University beginning this fall.
The SEP benefited Austin in other ways when, at one of its meetings, he met the love of his life and spiritual partner, Jaqueline DeLeon. From there arose their long-running debate over that most burning of philosophical questions.-- Who's the better superhero, Superman or Batman?-which in turn eventually led to a deep and beautiful love between the two, despite there being no victor.
Besides Jackie, Austin leaves behind his parents Bruce and Julie Stanfill, his much beloved brother Dylan, his grandparents, Carole Stanfill, Chaney and Jeanie Miller, his aunts and uncles, Cheryl Burns, Joseph Griffin, Chana Miller Wilson and Robbin Colvin, and his cousins, Justin and Becca Burns, Chaney Miller and Shawn Wilson, along with his host of friends here and abroad who are too numerous to name, but you know who you are.
Austin lived life to the fullest. Whether it was for a work project or an adventure, he was always at the front of the line-and usually the last to leave. We will all miss him and the light he brought into our lives, sometimes just by turning on that devil, devil, devil-of-a-man smile.
For all who knew and loved him, please keep him in your heart for a while.
This site will be an evolving website for all to share their personal thoughts and remembrances of Austin, and where additional content will be added over time. Please revisit.
In lieu of flowers or other donations and in order to keep Austin's dream alive, donations in Austin's memory may be made to the University of St. Thomas, Micro Credit Program, 3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006.
Visitation was held on Tuesday, May 7, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the Waltrip Funeral Directors, 1415 Campbell Road, Houston TX 77055.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 8 at 10:00 am in the Fellowship Hall at Chapelwood United Methodist Church, 11140 Greenbay, Houston, TX 77024. Following short graveside services, a reception took place in the Fellowship Hall.