Michael Ernest Austin, more affectionately known as Mike, 61, of Sparta, passed away April 29, 2021, at his residence.
Mike was born June 8, 1959, in Sparta, to Maxine Bumbalough Austin and Billy "Meatball" Austin.
He worked as a machinist in tool and die for Tri-State and was an avid outdoorsman. Mike loved everything there was about fishing and was known as the " Sandwich Brothers" with fishing partner Paul Wilhite. He was a University of Tennessee Vol fan, through good times and bad, and cheered on the St. Louis Cardinals as well. Above all, Mike loved his family and was Papa to many.
Mike was preceded in death by his father.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Joyce Ann Poston Austin; children, Michele Austin, Cody Wilhite and wife Leah, Lea Ann Gore and husband Mark; grandchildren, Lyza Wilhite, Jake Gore, Benson Wilhite; mother, Maxine Austin; sisters, Regina K. Jolly and husband Jeff, Cherri D. Taylor and husband Richard; and nephews, Zach Jolly and wife Heather and Austin Taylor.
Funeral service will be 2 p.m., May 2, 2021, at Hunter Funeral Home, with burial in Old Zion cemetery. Bobby Cloyd will officiate. The family will receive friends 11 a.m.-2 p.m., May 2, at the funeral home.
Paul Wilhite, Zach Jolly, Kevin Leatherwood, Richard Taylor, Mark Gore, and Freddie Dodson will serve as pallbearers.
Jake Gore will serve as an honorary pallbearer.
Hunter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.