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Evon Bert Austin

Evon Bert Austin, known to all as “Catfish”, 82 years old of Smithville, Missouri, peacefully passed away at home on February 24, 2023, surrounded by his loving wife, children and grandchildren.
Catfish was born on October 17th 1940, to Bert Francis and Erma Elmira (Royster) Austin in Wright County, Missouri. At the age of 13, Catfish battled polio and emerged with a strong will, and determination to live life to the fullest. After Catfish graduated from Hartville High School in 1959 he went to college for a year and then entered the work force at Owens Corning Fiberglass in Kansas City, Kansas, from which he retired in 1986 after 26 years. He then spent much of his time enjoying his grandkids and his passion for fishing and hunting.
In 1967, he married Mary Joann Jenkins in a small ceremony in Ava, Missouri. They were married for 55 years at the time of his passing. They had two children Janet Lea (Austin) Brooks of Platte City Missouri, and Scott David Austin (Janice Bolin) of Kansas City, Missouri. He enjoyed time with his seven grandchildren, Samantha, Matthew, Marcus and Austin Brooks (Janet’s Children) and Regina Bolin, Jack and Jordan Austin. (Scott’s Children) He had five great grandchildren, Rory, Leif, Mila, Norah and Lane. (Janet’s Grandchildren).
Catfish and Joann started their dream of Smithville Marine in 1983, catering to the Bass Fishing Industry that Catfish had been a part of most of his adult life. Joann ran the day-to-day business with Catfish’s guidance from shortly after it was formed until they sold it in 2016. Once they sold the business, they spent time together enjoying their cabin in Canada and their home in Zapata, Texas.
A Visitation will be held at Hixon-Klein Funeral home in Smithville, Missouri, on March 1, 2023, from 5:30 PM-7:00PM, with a Celebration of Life Service at 7:00 pm. Visitation will be held at Craig-Hurt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove on Saturday March 4, 2023, from 1:00 – 1:45 PM. Graveside Committal and burial will follow the visitation at 2:00 PM at Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Shriner’s Organization or
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