Rest in peace, David Austin

Glancing at the Cap Times web site this morning, a sidebar headline struck me: “Mourning David Austin and what might have been,” it said.

David Austin… why did that name sound familiar?

A face popped into my mind’s eye.

David Austin?


So it was.

David Austin is (was) a genuinely nice guy, one of the more “real” people I knew in the downtown/east side Madison activist scene.  Our direct interactions were few, but I was always struck by his very positive attitude, regardless of the context. He was a very committed activist for positive social change, and carried the highest respect of his peers. At the same time a very reasonable and approachable man. He seemed very happily married, and has a young son. I know nothing further about what happened; just that he is gone. It’s sad.

I think a child’s innermost fear is losing a parent that they love with all their heart, just as a spouse fears losing their spouse. I’m sorry that this happened to David’s wife his wife Laura Dresser and their son Nelson. My deep condolences go to them and their family. We will all love and miss David.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.