Milford A. Austin

By on June 26, 2014

Milford A. Austin, 88, of Kaneville, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family at Autumn Leaves of St. Charles, where he had recently made his home.

He was born Jan. 7, 1926, in Independence, Wis., the son of Helmer and Julia (Wik) Austin.

Milford grew up in the Independence area and attended local schools. He worked hard on his schooling but even harder before and after classes on the family farm. He toiled in the fields from sun-up to sundown before hearing the call of his country.

Milford enlisted into the United States Army on July 27, 1947. He faithfully served his country while alongside his brothers in arms as a staff sergeant and medic in Korea. Upon his honorable discharge on July 27, 1953, Milford returned to civilian life.

Milford was lucky in love when he found Norma Ellingson. They were united in marriage on April 15, 1953, in Whitehall, Wis., sharing their love for the next 57 years.

They began their life together in Wisconsin for a time before moving to St. Charles to continue raising their family that would eventually include four children. In 1990, they moved once more to Kaneville. After Norma’s passing in 2010, Milford made a home in Southern Illinois before moving back north.

Although his roots were in farming, after coming back from overseas Milford found work in the manufacturing sector. He worked as an upholsterer for Howell Company in St. Charles for many years. After it closed its doors, Milford found odd jobs here and there, but was content to fade into retirement with a satisfied smile on his face.

Milford loved his garden, especially when it was overflowing with flowers and vegetables. Milford would take the family back north to Wisconsin during the summer, where he would indulge in his love for fishing. He also like to play cards and was Cribbage family champion for many years. His family was his No. 1 priority, and he was never happier than when he was surrounded by his children, and most especially his grandchildren. He never missed a game or school function as they were growing up, and spent hours helping them practice in the backyard.

He is survived by three children, Linda (Larry) Hudgens of Grant Park, Ill., Mitch (Karen) Austin of Hoffman, Texas, and Stephanie (Mike) Ritz of DeKalb; seven grandchildren, Travis Hudgens, Rebecca (Jeff) Boatman, Lori (J.C.) David, Teri Johnson, Stephanie (Dan) Freeman, Dustin Ritz and Desiree Ritz; 12 great-grandchildren; one sister, Ruth (Lyman) Swaim of Batavia; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife Norma; son, Jeff Austin; twin daughters, Ruth and Rose, who died in infancy; and five siblings, Vivian McKinney, Waldo, Howard, Merle and Floyd Austin.

Visitation, with a service to celebrate his life, was held on Saturday at Conley Funeral Home, Elburn. Interment will follow at Kaneville Cemetery, Kaneville.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Milford’s name. Checks may be made to the “Milford Austin Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at