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Retired RMCM(SS) Robert M. Austin, 83, of Solomons died Dec. 22, 2012, at his home after a courageous battle with Lewy body dementia.

Born in Birmingham, Ala., he was the son of the late Robert P. Austin and Nancy Leona Garrett Austin.

His Navy days were his best years. That’s when he came of age and when he learned of and developed his skills as a leader. He rode the old diesel submarines out of Pearl Harbor to China, Japan, Korea and points between. He later served a tour at the American embassy in Oslo, Norway, in support of NATO. Before retiring in 1968, he served his twilight tour as command master chief at Commander Oceanographic System Pacific. Following a four-year retirement during which he attended college, played golf and supported his wife’s home-based business, he was recruited by a former Navy executive officer to join Litton Industries (now Northrop Grumman). Transferred from one division to another at a rate that mimicked military changes of station, he retired from the Amecom Division as engineering field program manager with responsibility for Litton input and customer satisfaction at seven shipyards worldwide. No wonder that he was once introduced as, “and this is Bob, from the world.”

At his request, his cremains will be scattered over the South Pacific from an American submarine, time and location to be determined by the captain of that boat.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Austin of Solomons; stepdaughters, Stacey Kennett and her daughter, Hayleigh, of Hollywood and Thea Noll and her daughter, Maryfrances, of Lexington Park; his sister-in-law, Myrtle Lou Austin and niece, Linda Austin, both of Birmingham; and family friends of 65 years, Nancy and Jack Smith of Norfolk, Va. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Overman; and his brother, Jimmie Austin.

A celebration of life was held at the family home on Jan. 22.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, P.O. Box 451429, Atlanta, GA 31145-9429.

Arrangements are being handled by Brinsfield Funeral Home in Leonardtown.