Ms. Robbie Lee Austin lovingly known by most as “NANA” was born January 10, 1923 in Elmhouse, Texas to the late DeJa Mantee and Tennessee Elizabeth Priest. She was the baby of five siblings, a total of 3 boys and 3 girls.
At an early age, Robbie united in Christ at the 2nd Bethel Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas. After the family moved to Fort Worth, Texas, she joined the Zion Baptist Church under the pastorage of the late G.W. Burton, where she actively sang in the choir.
Upon graduating high school, she matriculated at Denver University to further her education and follow her interest in teaching. In 1945 she was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Chapter and was a member of Delta Zeta Omega, and enjoyed modeling part-time.
During these years, she met George Ernest Bailey, Jr. and they were married April 4, 1950. To this union 3 children were born; George III (Skipper), Linda and Kelley. Later she moved to San Francisco, California, where she met and married Arthur Burton Austin and to this union a son, Kevin Troy was born.
Robbie’s professional career began as a medical transcriber in San Francisco and as always with the drive to improve herself, she simultaneously attended San Francisco State University. This education opened doors of opportunity and she secured a position with City and County of San Francisco as a Social Worker. She received many accolades and acknowledgements for her dedication and hard work in assisting families and clients alike with their many challenging personal and life issues. She loved what she did and felt a true satisfaction in helping others. She retired after “31 years and 11 days!!”
In her beginning years in San Francisco she also was very blessed to find a Sista’ Hood with a fabulous group of ladies, who to this day are still in each other lives. These relationships resulted in raising the next generations of off-springs, with their love, strength, life experiences and of course discipline.
This was and is the definition of: “IT TAKES A VILLAGE.”
Robbie was called home on May 25, 2019. She joins her parents, DeJa and Tennessee Priest of Texas, Siblings: Claude, Cathryn, Mary, T.J and Aubrey, Sons: George (Skipper) and Kevin Troy, and Goddaughter Ocie (Cookie) all preceded her in death.
She leaves to cherish her memory; Son: Harold Smith, Daughters: Rochelle Smith, Linda Midgett and Kelley Baker, Son-In-Laws: Hobert Smith and
Winston Baker. Grandchildren: Danielle Smith, Kimberly Kimble, Ayawnna Smith, Myesha Smith, Chantel Green, Meredith Bailey, Jonathan Bailey, Martell
Baker and her precious Great Grandson, Hassan Andemariam, and her bonus daughter, Effie Meredith.
Additionally, many others will cherish her passing as there are a host of family, friends, best girlfriends, nieces, nephews, cousins, and even friends of friends who will remember and hopefully smile when they think of Nana and recall one of her stories or giving one of her famous quotes, “See you later Alligator… After while Crocodile… Not too soon Baboon” or singing to her loved ones “Hey good lookin’, What cha got cookin’, Cookin’ something up for me toniiiight” or even dancing with her on her all-time most favorite song, “There goes My Baby” by Usher.
She was a phenomenal woman, who was a Nana to all. Her love was personal, and it required no DNA.
And most importantly, SHE KNEW HER “JC” (Jesus Christ) was her best friend and would always be by her side.
See Ya Later Alligator…
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