On June 28, 1995 the vivacious Austin Theo McWhite, affectionately known as Bubba, entered the world with a quiet determination to change the world forever. Mission accomplished.
Austin was educated in the Orange County Public School system and graduated with honors from Wekiva High School. At Wekiva he was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC). Austin loved sports and was a fierce competitor. He enjoyed basketball, football and golf but none of these sports could compare to his love for baseball. He was an all-American baseball letterman and was an exceptional first baseman and center fielder. During his senior year, he was given the Wekiva High School MVP award in baseball.
Upon graduation from high school, he aspired to serve in the United States Armed Forces. Throughout the entire summer after graduation, he anxiously awaited his invitation letter to join the United States Army. Unfortunately, the letter that came was a denial and he was encouraged to apply at a later date. Three weeks after he was rejected, Austin received a call from the Department of Defense, and was offered a full scholarship to University of Dubuque Iowa to major in Aviation. As he hung up the phone he told his mother “a blessing can be delayed but never denied”. Mission accepted.
As Austin journeyed to Iowa to initiate his aviation career, he was able to bring along his baseball cleats. Austin played college baseball and proudly wore the #42 in honor of the great Jackie Robinson who was the first African American to play in major league baseball.
Austin’s sports awards include: First Team All-Iowa Conference, Academic Achievement as a Baseball player, MVP at University of Dubuque, Best Character Athlete for Baseball, 2017 first team Iowa All Conference and University of Dubuque Player of the Week and Player of the Month.
Austin understood that the sky was the limit for anything that he wanted to do. Perhaps that is why he loved to fly as the open sky represented the endless opportunities and possibilities for his life. On June 12, 2015, he earned his pilot license. As part of his flight training, he flew solo to Orlando from Dubuque three times. His goal was to become a commercial pilot.
On May 11, 2017, Austin’s dream of joining the armed forces proved no longer to be deferred. On this glorious day in the presence of friends and family he graduated from University of Dubuque and was commissioned to the United States Army as Lieutenant Engineer Officer. Mission no longer delayed. Mission accomplished.
As a serviceman, Austin loved his job as a combat engineer whose responsibilities included overseeing all the military unit’s equipment. His favorite part of the day was morning drills and physical training. He also loved to dance and could play the piano. His favorite dish was chicken alfredo which he would make from scratch. He loved baking cookies, exercising, eating healthy, hanging out with his family, washing his car, riding motorcycles and walking his beloved dog Thor. He also loved playing his favorite video game which was appropriately named Call of Duty. Austin was an orderly young man who kept his apartment in an immaculate condition. He kept everything in order from his sneakers to his clothing. His closet was color coded and nothing was out of place. Perfection wasn’t his goal, it was his standard.
Austin accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at a young age and was baptized by Rev. Randolph Bracy at the New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando. He faithfully served as a youth usher.
Austin will forever be remembered for his infectious smile, his enchanting hazel eyes, his impeccable attitude, his level-headed demeanor and his flawless manners. He was a perfect gentleman who embodied the characteristics of love, hard work and respect. Austin’s life taught the world that you can’t do anything about the length of your life but you can do something about the depth and fullness of the life that you live.
Austin lived and loved to the fullest. The people he loved should take note and do the same.
Austin leaves to cherish his memory and continue his legacy of greatness:
His parents Theo McWhite and Sha’ron Cooley McWhite; Sister, Saudia George, Grandmother Ernestine McWhite, aunts, Valarie McWhite Chambers (Cornell), Veronica McWhite Tyson (Sam), Pam Cooley, Uncles, Henry McWhite, Anthony McWhite, Cousins: Juquay Denmark; Adrienne McWhite, Latonya Jones, Crystal Mack, Latasha Gordon, Taylor Cooley; Beloved Dog, Thor and Godparents, Randolph and LaVon Bracy
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