Shari Lee Kelley Austin, 54, of Morgantown, Cheat Lake, passed away unexpectedly Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, due to injuries sustained in an accident at home.
She was born Dec. 24, 1963, in Morgantown, the daughter of the late James Denzil Kelley and the late Phyllis Patricia Beck Kelley.
Survivors include her husband, James Vance “Jamie” Austin; two sons, Ross Justice and Cory Austin, both of Morgantown; her nieces and nephews, Jennifer Kelley, Kristen and Frank Boyce, Andrew and Kaylin Yost, and Jacob Yost.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, James Kelley, II, and three nieces, April Kelley Brown, and Taylor and Ashley Kelley.
Mrs. Austin was a graduate of University High School where she stayed incredibly active and formed life-long friendships with her fellow cheerleaders. Additionally, she was a graduate of West Virginia University, having obtained her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and master’s degrees in public health. This started her professional career as a Dental Hygienist, in which she worked and taught. She went back to WVU where she earned a second master’s degree in teaching.
Teaching would ultimately become her true passion. Over the years, she taught in local daycare centers, the TAG Program at Mylan Park, Mason Dixon and Brookhaven Elementary Schools, and co-taught fourth grade at Cheat Lake Elementary School with Mrs. Kennison for one year.
Currently, she was a fourth-grade teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School, where she was adored by her students and admired by her co-workers for her professionalism and overall soft-spoken, gentle personality. However, her ability to quickly bring order back to a classroom earned her the nickname of “Sarge” from her co-workers.
She was an award-winning photographer, who had many of her photos displayed at area galleries. She recently began her own blog and writing a book that she hoped to one day have published. Shari loved listening to all genres of music, as well as spending time with her family and talking with her friends.
The community may join the family to honor Mrs. Austin’s life and legacy at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center, in Morgantown, from 1 -4 p.m. on Sunday, September 16. A service in celebration of her life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, contributions for the family’s needs during this time are being accepted through the funeral home’s website at www.smithfcc.com.
Professional services are being provided to the family with the guidance of Smith Funeral & Cremation Care, 108 Holland Ave., Morgantown.