It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the death of our Copy Editor and Reporter Eric Austin.
Eric died at the young age of 32 last Wednesday while riding his bicycle on SW 3rd St, through the crosswalk to the First Alternative Co-op in South Corvallis around 7 p.m.
Though his time at The Advocate was brief, Eric’s presence and personality leave a lasting impression and palpable hole at our table. With his quick wit and wry sense of humor, Eric fit in perfectly with our quirky little family right from the start, bringing with him a high level of skill and integrity.
Eric loved music, reading, and writing, as well as collecting books. His father recounts him being especially excited to find a signed Ken Kesey book just weeks ago at Browsers’ Bookstore, in downtown Corvallis.
Eric was born November 24, 1985 in McMinnville. He is survived by his father Bruce Austin, mother Nancy Caparella, stepmother Mary Austin, and brother Mark Austin, to whom we extend our sincerest sympathies to here at The Advocate. His father and stepmother live in Corvallis, his mother in Sheridan, and his brother in Boise.
“Eric was sweet, and bright, and quirky,” said his father and stepmother, “A wonderful and caring person all around.” This care, they said, extended to a 28 lb. Garfield-like cat named Big George.
In a show of support, the South Corvallis Co-op agreed to have a ghost bike installed near where Eric was struck and killed. For those unaware, a ghost bike is a bike painted white, placed at the scene of a fatal bike accident in memoriam and as a safety reminder.
The Advocate extend our gratitude to the First Alternative Co-op, as well as our local Ride of Silence group, for constructing and placing the bike last Friday.
Eric’s death has made waves in the cycling community, many of whom collaborated with Eric’s father to arrange a cyclist procession this Sunday at 4 p.m., beginning at 2095 SE Debord in South Corvallis. The procession is open to any and all cyclists wishing to ride in honor of Eric.
We will miss Eric dearly at The Advocate, as we celebrate and cherish the short time he spent with us, and the lasting memories he parts with.