Joel T. Austin, 58, of New Smyrna Beach, FL, died unexpectedly May 18. He was the son of the late Dilton V. (Tex) and Carolyn Austin. Joel was a 1972 graduate of Wareham High School and a 1976 graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Born in Wareham, Joel moved to New Smyrna Beach shortly after graduating from Mass Maritime.
Joel was a captain in the Merchant Marine and had sailed on many vessels over his 30-year career, until his retirement in 2005.
One of Joel's pleasures when home from shipping out was spending time fishing the backwaters of New Smyrna and spending time with his family and friends. He had forged many lifelong friendships with his fellow shipmates. Joel always had a knack to break into a sea story and make everyone laugh. Although a Floridian for many years, Joel loved coming back to Cape Cod to visit family and friends and especially enjoyed spending time with his brothers.
Survivors include his wife, Janet, and his two children, Valerie of Riviera Beach, FL, and Joel Jr. of New Smyrna, FL; his three brothers, Raymond of San Diego, CA, Billy of Wareham, and Jimmy and his wife Melissa of Rochester; nephews, Sam and Ben of Rochester, MA and Scott Sanchez of South Easton, MA, and nieces Kristan Khan of Orlando, FL and Alexandra Baker of Falmouth, MA.
A celebration of his life will take place Thursday May 30th, 4pm at Baldwin Brothers Cremation Society Chapel, New Smyrna Beach.