Former educators to be remembered through NCTC scholarship

by Darin Allred | Sep 15, 2014 <p> </p>

For Vernon and Naomi Austin, education was their lives. So it's only fitting that their legacy of supporting education will live on thanks to a generous gift from their estate.

North Central Texas College was granted $95,300 from the Austin estate to be used for scholarships.

Both Vernon and Naomi were educators in the Gainesville Independent School District for many years. Vernon served as the band director and later become the district's business manager. Naomi was a Home Economics teacher. Both have been inducted into the Gainesville ISD Education Hall of Fame.

"Vernon came in to see me after Naomi passed away and he wanted to set up something that would be a lasting tribute to her," Gainesville attorney Larry Sullivant said. "So I drew the will up, and he left $95,300 to NCTC for scholarships, he gave $95,300 to the hospital, he gave $95,300 to the Gainesville ISD Foundation, and he gave $50,000 to the church he had been a member of for many years, Whaley Methodist Church."

A ceremony was held on Sept. 15 at the Law Office of Sullivant, Wright and Brinkley to distribute checks to the four organizations included in the will. Naomi Austin's brother, Theo Embry, along with her nephew, Dale Embry, were on hand at the ceremony.

They both said they were pleased that the family could give back to so many organizations that the Austins cared about.

"I'm just glad we were able to help provide," Theo Embry said. "(Their deaths) are a sad situation, but I think this makes it a glad situation."

"They were such big supporters of education in all aspects," Dale Embry added. "Most of his investments after he retired from the school district here were in educational bonds in support of education, it's only fitting that a big portion of his estate goes back to education."

Now, students will be helped through the Vernon and Naomi Austin Scholarship Fund at NCTC.

"They were both wonderful people and they gave back to the community they lived in," Sullivant said of the Austins.

For more information about scholarship opportunities at NCTC, call 940-668-4213.

austin check donation web

Theo Embrey, the brother of the late Naomi Austin, recently presented a check to NCTC Vice-President of Institutional Advancement Debbie Sharp to establish a scholarship at NCTC as part of the estate of Vernon and Naomi Austin. Pictured are (left to right), NCTC President Dr. Brent Wallace, Debbie Sharp, Theo Embry, Dale Embry and Larry Sullivant.