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"Barney" died May 12, 2023, in Boise. He was born May 2, 1934, in Shoshone, Idaho. In 1939 the family moved from Shoshone and lived in various parts of the United States. The family returned to Shoshone when Austin was entering the sixth grade. By this time, he had attended eleven different grade schools. He completed elementary and high school and graduated from Shoshone H.S. in 1953. Austin was active in high school football and basketball. After high school, Austin attended college for two years at Idaho State University and three years at the University of Idaho. He graduated with a bachelor's in Geology in 1958. During this period Austin worked summers as a smokejumper at McCall, Idaho, and jumped in Silver City, New Mexico in 1959. He jumped at McCall 1954-57 and 1959. His work career varied over the years. He worked as an underground uranium mine geologist near Grants, New Mexico, mined underground storage caverns for the storage of LP Gas in the Midwest, and constructed petrochemical plants in various areas of the United States. He worked for Morrison-Knudsen's (MK) Building Group for twenty years as a Project Manager and then as Division Manager. After leaving Morrison-Knudsen, Austin worked as an independent construction consult for six years. All this required extensive moving and traveling. He retired four times. The last was in 2006. "What was the best job I ever had...smokejumper." Austin lived in Boise, Idaho, enjoying life traveling, his wife Mary of 60 years, grandchildren, great grandchildren, old smokejumper gatherings and riding his four-wheeler in the Owyhee's Mountains in Idaho. "Some may know me as 'Barney Bear.'"



Publication Date

May 2023


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Young, Austin L. (McCall 1954)