A longtime Kilgore educator, minister and the first principal of Kilgore Intermediate School has died.
Charlotte Austin died May 25 and leaves behind a long and storied legacy, signified by her work in education, the ministry and the love she showed her family.
Born in Temple, Texas in 1941, she became an elementary school teacher, principal of Kilgore Intermediate School and finally a Methodist minister, serving as pastor of McCary’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Liberty City from 2005 to 2013.
After moving to Kilgore, she taught first grade at Chandler Elementary for several years before becoming a principal at Eastview and Elder. Later, as the first-ever principal of Kilgore Intermediate School, she opened each day with an inspirational message to students and staff.
After retiring, she was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Kilgore. Austin also was a regular contributor the Kilgore News Herald’s “Minister’s Moment” column. Her eldest son, Channing Bryant, recommended one of her ministerial columns in remembrance of her.
In a column dated Aug. 1, 2015, titled “We should use what we have,” Austin wrote about finding beauty and grace in even the most unexpected places.
“All of us have met persons unnoticed by many, but who in the middle of struggle and unlikely surroundings far from the center of attention live lives of beauty and fragrance,” she wrote.
“Living lives which seemed obscure they faithfully fulfilled God’s calling for them... God’s question on the last day will not be ‘How much were you noticed?’ or even ‘How much did you do?’ Rather, His question will be ‘Were you faithful in fulfilling your calling where I placed you?’”
Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore, with funeral services to follow at 2 pm.
Flowers may be sent to Rader Funeral Home of Kilgore. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org.