Tony Austin served faithfully and enthusiastically on the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2016 until his passing in 2021. It is with our appreciation and remembrance that he remains a director In Memoriam. He will be dearly missed but his legacy to our organization, as well as to Plateau mountain communities, will endure. Following is the family's announcement and request that donations be made to Friends of Panthertown in lieu of flowers.

 Tony Austin, of Lake Toxaway, N.C., died Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Tony was an avid hiker in Panthertown Valley, an enthusiastic booster of Lake Toxaway, and an amateur historian of Western Transylvania County. He was instinctively generous and carried throughout life a sincere and positive energy.

Tony first started coming to Toxaway more than three decades ago, when he was brought on board as a marketing consultant during a key period in the development of Lake Toxaway Estates. He served as the Lake Toxaway Company's marketing director before becoming a real estate broker. His last great project was the development of a community to be known as Longcliff planned for the Toxaway corridor along Highway 64.

He was active with the Historic Toxaway Foundation, Friends of Panthertown, the John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce. He led champagne cruises as Captain of the Miss Lucy and spent Friday mornings in the summer leading hikers into Panthertown under his branded persona of ToxawayTony.

Anthony Robert Austin was born March 9, 1946, in Griffin, Georgia, to Jack Larkin Austin, and Vera Y. Stimson Austin. He graduated from Emory University and worked in advertising in Atlanta before jumping on an opportunity to move to Europe. While working for the American College in Switzerland and England, he married, became a father, and summited the Matterhorn - an achievement that brought him pride for the rest of his life.

Upon returning to the United States, he worked in advertising in Atlanta,

including at Austin Kelly Advertising and at Austin-Shister Communications, where he was involved in the promotion of early rollouts of pizza delivery and home computing. He was also active in the development of the Wade Hampton Golf Club of Cashiers.

As a real estate broker in the mountains, he rode the market through lean times and good times, and he finished at the top of his game. He was often found celebrating a real estate closing with a martini at Lake Toxaway Country Club.

Tony Austin

Tony was diagnosed last fall with an advanced form of sarcoma, the cancer that ultimately claimed his life. The optimism that defined his life shone in his last months and was an inspiration to those he knew well. That so many friends pitched in with his care during his final months is a testament to the strong friendships he cultivated over his lifetime. He passed in Durham with family at his bedside. He is survived by his sister, Ellen Austin Moore, of Monroe, and her family; his former wife, Ann McKee Austin, of Cashiers: his son, Jeffrey Larkin Austin, of Durham; his daughter-in-law, Coby Jansen Austin; and his grandchildren, Petronella Ann Austin and Adrian Larkin Austin (and one on the way).

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Friends of Panthertown at: or by sending a check, noting his name in the memo field, to: Friends of Panthertown, PO Box 51, Cashiers, NC 28717.