Our love goes out to his family. Passing his has left our hearts broken. Austin was just 18 years old. Wilson Austin, the youngest apprentice and one of the dearest members of our team, passed away while we were traveling with Show Builders International.
Last April, Austin submitted his application to be an apprentice on our crew. He also spoke about finding a pathway through childhood adversity by working with his hands. Austin made a promise to his five siblings and spoke about it. They made him back them and nothing would hold them back, but death itself could hold Austin back. It was music to our ears.
Starting a New Journey
He knew that time was short, so he embraced this opportunity and worked in a hurry. It seemed that the more he wanted, the harder he had to work; Austin didn’t let his newcomer status faze him. For more than 18 years, Austin had been a part of a tight-knit and small family, and now he joined the Old House crew, leaving his family behind as he boarded a plane for the first time on the day after his high school graduation.
He was eager to explore his new city of Boston, despite his tired hands and long days. Bailey and Nathan, his two apprentice colleagues, were the most important people to him, and he respected and loved their hard-earned work and heart. Abram and Norm taught him everything, and Silva and Tommy gave him everything they learned. Charlie, his befriended apprentice, asked him for everything. He wore his new tool belt and drove his new truck.
Destined for Success
Although Austin never came to Austin on Tuesday, it would have been a success for his destined life. Despite this, he wore a content smile as he awaited the big moment, carrying on an easy conversation at supper. The next day, he was scheduled to stand on stage and be introduced to a crowd of five thousand women and craftsmen, as part of the next generation. On Monday night, Austin ate supper at a long table with his family at the Old House.
Thank You, Austin
He may hold a stone in the palm of his hand and you will not strike your foot against it, so bear up and let our hands rest. Your work is done, Austin.
Kevin O’Connor, the host of This Old House.
A Few Words from Nate
Without a doubt, Austin has left his mark on this world and will be greatly missed. He will always be remembered as a dedicated friend and his positive attitude and lightheartedness. Austin represented the ideal apprentice – eager to learn, motivated, and always looking for ways to improve. Week after week, he stood out in the woodworking program at Making Kids and House Old in Wilmington. He often spoke about his family back home and how grateful he was for the opportunity to work on this site. I consider myself lucky to have met Austin Wilson, and it didn’t take me long to find out why people used words like “inspiration,” “role model,” and “leader” when talking about him.
Nate Gilbert, an apprentice at TOH.
We’ll Miss You, Austin
Please visit KidsMakingIt.Org to learn more about the beloved after-school program in Austin. Get in touch directly with Kids Making It to learn more about the Wilson Austin Memorial Fund.