Austin Gray Abercrombie, 76, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, was called to Christ on March 6, 2023. He was a devoted husband, loving father, doting Papa, and loyal friend.
He was born in Augusta, Georgia on May 17, 1946. Gray graduated from McCormick High School in McCormick, South Carolina and was a 1968 graduate of Wofford College. After graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Gray served one tour in Vietnam and upon his return, transitioned to the U.S. Navy in 1972. During a career that spanned 23 years, he was an accomplished naval aviator, flying the A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair, and the F/A-18 Hornet. While serving in the Navy, he earned his master’s degree from Webster University. He retired from the Navy in 1992 holding the rank of Commander. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Fleet Marine Force Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. After his military career, he flew with United Airlines until his retirement in 2011.
Gray was a long-time member of First Baptist Church in Fort Mill, SC where he served as a deacon and a member of the security team. He had a passion for Christian discipleship and taught Sunday school, led numerous Journey groups, and went on several mission trips to Nicaragua. He worked for years with Young Life and was a site leader with the Salkehatchie Summer Service program. He treasured quiet time with the Lord, spending time with family, and discipling his precious grandkids. He was an avid bicyclist, loved camping, reading, tinkering in his workshop, and eating good Mexican food. Gray was a long-suffering fan of Gamecock football.
He was preceded in death by his parents Alberta Wise Abercrombie and Gardner Gray Abercrombie. He is survived by his wife Muriel Yarborough Abercrombie; his children Saddler James Taylor (Barbara) of West Columbia, SC and Benjamin Gray Abercrombie (Elizabeth) of Chesapeake, VA; his grandchildren Gardner Creighton Taylor, Mattie Flynn Taylor, Jack Culley Taylor, Rebecca Christine Abercrombie, Braedon Gray Abercrombie, and Michael Austin Abercrombie; sister Robbie (Bobbie) Shelton of Columbia, SC.
Palmetto Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Burial will be at Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia, SC on Tuesday, March 14. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Young Life.
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