Clark Legacy Center

Obituary: Dr. Austin T. Tuning

Dr. Austin T. Tuning

April 07, 1933 - September 26, 2015

Dr. Austin T. Tuning, 82, husband of Dr. Carol A. Tuning, died on September 26, 2015. He was born on April 7, 1933, in Salem, Virginia, and was the son of the late Lettie L. M. Tuning. He was named after his late grandfather who had been a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, during the late 1800's. Austin spent his life fighting for the rights of all people, no matter their skin color, age, gender, disability, religion, or economic status. He and Carol were married May 22, 1982, in Richmond, Virginia, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. This church had been the church of such Civil War heroes as Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis; they had their own designated pews. In addition to his mother, Austin was adored by his in-laws, the late Davis and Annie Altizer of Radford, Virginia.

Upon completion of his Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Virginia State University (Petersburg), he enlisted in the US Army, was stationed in Japan as a Cryptographic Analyst with top security clearance and was one of very few cryptographic analysts worldwide who was African American. He received his Masters degree in Special Education and Administration from the University of Virginia (Charlottesville). After serving as an Assistant Principal in Glouchester County, Virginia, he joined the Virginia Department of Education (Richmond) as an Assistant Supervisor of Special Education, was promoted to Supervisor of Special Education and then promoted to Director of Special Education for all public schools located in Virginia. While he was serving in this position, he received his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Virginia.

During the fall of 1994, he and Carol moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, to become employees of the Kentucky Department of Education. Austin was one of four Associate Commissioners of Education and headed Human Resources, Equity, the operation of Administrative Services. He retired during 2001 and took a position of Professor at Midway College, teaching on campus and supervising student teachers in area schools. In addition, he began volunteering with various community, education, and church organizations.

Austin and Carol became members of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Lexington) where he was quite active as a member of numerous committees and in leadership positions such as chair of the Vestry. In addition, he served on several committees of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, including the Reading Camp Board. He also volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Refugee Ministries as well as other community non-profit organizations located in Lexington and Frankfort.

Last, but certainly not least, Austin enjoyed photography, collecting artwork and antiques, and was a master gardener/landscaper. He loved working with flowers and trees, digging in the soil, feeding birds, and sitting in the yard, admiring his work while thinking about his next project. The yard and garden look fabulous! And, he was always "supervised" by at least one cat!!!

Funeral Information

On Sunday, October 11, 2015, there will be a Gathering of Friends and Family from 2 to 4 pm and a Celebration of Life from 4 to 5 pm at Clark Legacy Center, Brannon Crossing, Lexington, Kentucky.