Sharron was born in Lincoln, NE, but spent a majority of her life in the South. She attended Dobyns-Bennett High School (class of ’57) in Kingsport, TN; received her Master’s Degree from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City; and continued her advanced studies at Central State University in Edmond, OK. Her early professional life included jobs at Eastman Chemical in both Kingsport, TN, and Cincinnati, OH; Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA; and Coleman Reporting Service, a free-lance court reporting service she founded and ran. In 1980, Sharron joined the faculty of Virginia Intermont College (VIC) in Bristol, VA, serving as a professor in Computer Information Management until retirement after 22 years. While at VIC, she regularly taught in the Adult Degree Studies Program and was extremely proud to have coached her Division III Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis team to 5 consecutive winning seasons. Sharron served as Faculty President; received the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence & Campus Leadership; the President’s Award for Outstanding Service; the Outstanding Faculty Award; and was honored with Professor Emeritus status (the first year ever awarded) in 2002. After retiring from VIC, she moved to Sun City Hilton Head, SC, and continued to work part-time for NCS Pearson in Savannah, GA, for 7 more years.
Throughout her long life, Sharron remained extremely active in both sports and volunteer activities. In addition to being an avid traveler and hiker, she and her husband Roy enjoyed many years of mixed doubles and USTA tennis competition. Earlier in life, Sharron was an avid swimmer (water safety instructor), water and snow skier, tennis player, horse rider (hunters/jumpers), golfer, and runner. Sharron and her husband Roy are members of the Bluffton United Methodist Church in South Carolina.
Sharron is preceded in death by her father, Robert Franklin Hager, Sr., and her step-mother, Frances Pegram Hager, Kingsport, TN. She is survived by husband Herbert (Roy) Leroy Rockwell Austin II, Bluffton, SC; son Samuel Walton Coleman IV (wife Shelley) and their children Sam, Jon, and Jorja, Charlotte, NC; daughter Sarah Coleman Wilson (husband Michael) Cincinnati, OH; stepson Rockwell Austin, Cookeville, TN; stepdaughter Deborah Austin (wife Charlotte) and their children Wilson, Anna, Olivia, Mary Alice, and Delilah, Sparta, TN; brother Robert (Rob) Franklin Hager, Jr. (wife Pam), Kingsport, TN. Also, surviving her are Sharron’s special nieces Robyn, Rebecca, and Penny, and nephew Michael and the loved Austin, Moore/Burke, Lane, Coleman, and St. Martin families.
Due to the unfortunate situation with the COVID-19 virus, there will be no public visitation, funeral or graveside service at this time. A small graveside service for immediate family will occur at Oak Hill Cemetery in Kingsport, TN, in a plot beside her mother and father. The family will hold a celebration of life for Sharron at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, Sharron requests contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., 2600 Network Blvd., Suite 300, Frisco, TX 75034.
The care of Sharron Austin and her family have been entrusted to the staff of Oak Hill Funeral and Cremation Services.