Still Making a Difference: Bob and Marjorie Austin
Bequests to the Naval Institute are a true blessing, but also bittersweet as they signal the end of our association with a valued Member. When dedicated Members include the Institute in their wills, however, they have enduring impact long after they are gone.
There is a wrinkle: All too often, we don’t know a Member has included the Naval Institute in his or her estate plan until it is too late to express our thanks. We are in just such a situation now. In March 2006, we lost 57-year Member Retired Navy Commander Robert Campbell Austin of Columbus, Ohio. Seven years later, his widow, Marjorie Nield Austin, died at the age of 91. Months after her death in September 2013, we received word that the Naval Institute was among the beneficiaries of their estate. Commander Austin had been a modest but consistent donor throughout his membership and had several comments published in Proceedings and Naval History over the years. The Naval Institute is humbled by his devotion and by the generosity of the proceeds that continue to be received.