John Augustin – Austin Daily Herald

John Augustin “John the Barber” died peacefully at home with his family at his bedside and in the care of staff from Pine Ridge Assisted Living and Lakeview Hospice. He was 89 years old.

Born in 1932 and raised in Elkton, Minnesota, John was the youngest of Nora and Fred Augustin’s four children. It was during the Great Depression, and from a young age he worked hard on neighboring farms to help the family. During his school years, he excelled in sports and was a decent student. After graduating from high school, he joined the army.

John was shipped to Korea – a non-commissioned officer in an anti-aircraft commando – for a war that was fortunately at armistice when he arrived. Along with the soldiers in his company, he loved the Koreans he worked with and spoke affectionately of them throughout his life. He also stuck to a handful of Korean language phrases that he had overused throughout his days with the family.

Shortly after returning from overseas, John met Janice (Thoe). From the day they met, he was at her door every night. She and the GI Bill put him through hairdressing school and they married when he graduated in 1956.

John ran the Midtown Barbershop in Austin for 42 years. He loved his job and continued to introduce himself as “John the Barber” long after his retirement. John and Janice had four children – JoAnn, Scott, Wayne and Steven (deceased) – in Austin.

John was active as a member of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, served in the Austin High School football chain gang, and served in professional organizations including the Master Barbers Association. In his younger years, he was an excellent pitcher at Austin fast pitch softball, and his strong relationships with his teammates continued through years of bowling, fishing, hunting and golf, and lifelong friendships.

Throughout their lives, John and Janice have been an inseparable team. In 2001 they retired together and hit the road in their Winnebago. They visited every state except Hawaii and spent a lot of time in Alaska and the Black Hills.

They moved to Hudson, Wisconsin 10 years ago to be closer to family and in later years lived together at the Christian Community Home, most recently at his assisted living home. But Austin was always in his heart, and he regularly wore a SPAM hat to stimulate conversations from home.

It was fun being with John. He seemed to collect colorful phrases – many too scatalogue for an obituary – and used them frequently. A snake wasn’t huge, it was “longer than two ropes tied together.” One pitcher didn’t fight, he “couldn’t beat a cop in the censorship with a bass fiddle,” and if he was working with John — painting a room or fixing a car — he might find a reason to remind you that “a fart horse never gets tired; a farting man is the man to hire.”

John is survived by his wife Janice; three children, JoAnn (Brad), Scott (Colleen) and Wayne (Kiki); seven grandchildren, Travis (Britt), Kyla, Katie (Madeline), Grace, John, Joey and Hattie; and a sister-in-law, Janet (Dalvin Augustin). He was preceded in death by parents Fred and Nora; and siblings and their spouses: Anne and Vernon Hart, Dalvin Augustin, and Harold and Eleanor Augustin.

John’s funeral service will be on Monday, August 29, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the Worlein Funeral Home Chapel in Austin. The visit takes place before the service from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Austin’s Grandview Cemetery. The Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is helping the family with the preparations. Condolences can be offered to the family online at

Farewell, traveler. See you on the other side.

Instead of flowers, memorials from the Christian Community Home Foundation – Foundation | preferred to CCHS Senior Living ( Please note “John Augustin Memorial”.

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