Austin Mardon, a long-time resident of Santa Barbara, died peacefully Sunday morning, July 21, 2013, at the home of his youngest daughter, Athena Foley, and her husband, Dan.
Austin was born October 9, 1922, in Cambridge to a British father and American mother. Dividing the first years between Texas and England, Austin’s family eventually settled in Scotland. His parents being classics scholars themselves made sure that Austin followed suit. Eventually, however, Austin’s natural aptitude for science took over. At the beginning of World War II, Austin enlisted in the Royal Navy, serving as a radar specialist, earning three chevrons during his course of duty.
During the war, he met and married Eve Feldstein, who was also serving in the British military. Soon after the war, Austin brought his growing family to America, eventually settling in Santa Barbara.
With a MS from Cornell University, Austin evolved from teacher, to seismologist, and eventually to self-taught electronics engineer. Locally, he worked at Western Geophysics, Raytheon, Spacek Industries and American Nucleonics Corporation. As a pioneer in millimeter and submillimeter wave technology, he was proud to contribute to the first textbook written on the subject and to develop and patent new equipment.
Austin was a man of varied interests, an intellectual who loved history and science and could, upon the slightest provocation, give long discourses on medieval history or millimeter wave technology … often at the dinner table! As a young man, he fenced, played cricket and bridge and later got into acting, participating in Santa Barbara’s community theater and Madam Kedrina’s annual ballet performances. He had a lifelong love of reading, chess, and walking. At 90 he was still walking two miles daily!
A Hospice volunteer, Austin enjoyed giving and helping out, especially with family projects and chores. He was a natural caretaker and loving husband, father, brother and grandfather. He leaves behind his wife, Alice Andrassy Mardon; his daughters, Amanda Mardon, Annette Collins and Athena Foley; eight grandchildren Eva, Ursula, Anita, Marigold, Moses, Emily, Justin and Shannon; and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Eve; his second wife, Olga Higgins, and his granddaughter, Rebecca.
The eldest of 10 children, Austin is survived by four siblings: Ernest Mardon, of Alberta, Canada; Dick Mardon and Roland Mardon, both of Ross-shire, Scotland; and Francis Mardon, of Auckland, New Zealand.
Austin’s family wishes to thank Hospice for its diligent care. In honor of Austin’s charitable spirit, the family asks that in lieu of flowers you contribute to Oxfam. Click here to make an online donation.
Arrangements are by Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.