Jeff Austin’s wife is Devlyn Austin, she’s mourning the loss of her husband along with their three children, Lily Rose, 12, Penelope, 5, and Jude Patrick.
In a statement on June 25, Austin’s family released a statement that read, “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of a beloved family member, mandolinist, singer, songwriter and founder of The Jeff Austin Band, and Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff Austin. Austin passed away June 24, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. He was son of Eileen Austin, husband to Devlyn, and father to Lily Rose (12), Penelope (5), and Jude Patrick (2). He was a dear friend whose music touched the lives of so many, and will be sorely missed.”
Just prior to his tragic death, Austin had been subjected to a death hoax following the announcement that he had suffered a “medical emergency” on the night of June 22.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Austin Once Said That Leaving Yonder Mountain String Band in 2014 to Spend More Time With His Family Was the ‘Most Right Decision’ He Ever Made
Since April 2014, Austin has been forging his own solo career after departing the Yonder Mountain String Band. In a statement at the time, the rest of the band said that they were in “full support” of Austin’s solo efforts. Prior to his departure, Austin had been absent from many of the band’s shows thanks to the birth of his daughter.
In a July 2018 interview with Westword, Austin spoke about his family saying, “Yes. I have three kids. I took a break from touring with Yonder Mountain in 2014 when my daughter was born. You make a lot of wrong decisions and some right ones. And the most right decision I ever made was to stay home with my newly born little girl. I didn’t grow up with a father, so I thought I should stay home and be a dad.”
2. The Couple Was Married in October 2013
According to Devlyn’s Facebook page, she had been married to Jeff Austin since October 2013. On that page, Devlyn says that she is from Port Townsend, Washington and now lives in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, not far from where her husband was born. Austin told Westword that he moved to Illinois from Colorado in December 2016 saying, “No. I’ve been back here for a year and a half now. We actually did a successful extraction from the high country.”
3. Devlyn Referred to Jeff Austin as ‘Superdad’
During an October 2018 feature in Tahoe Weekly, writer Sean McAlindin described being at the Austin’s home. McAlindin said that as he entered it Austin was taking his 2-year-old son up for a bath while his wife smiled at him. McAlindin wrote, “”Superdad,” she whispers, the love burning bright in her eyes.” In the same interview, Austin spoke about leaving Yonder for his family saying, “When it all kind of came to head and I was no longer in the band anymore, I took the majority of the year off. I started to think about my life, the anniversaries I’ve missed, the birthday parties I’ve missed. I don’t miss those things anymore.”
4. Austin Credited His Wife With Helping Him Stay Clean & Sober
In January 2015, Austin spoke candidly to Second Story Garage about his struggles with drugs. Austin said, “I had a lot of people who I had to be held accountable to. When you take the step to stop, you’ve got to have those people.” He added that the responsibilities of having a young family gave him a “new purpose.” Austin said, “Being alive is pretty freakin’ awesome. I always have glitter on my face or pink marker on my hand.” Austin also mentioned that he and Devlyn were planning to move to Washington State to be closer to her family.
5. A Fund Has Been Set Up to Help Austin’s Family During This Difficult Time
A fundraising page has been set up to help Austin’s family during this difficult time. Among the tributes left in the comments, one read, “Jeff was one of my favorite musicians to go see live and Yonder was my stepping stone to great bluegrass music. I’m so so sorry for this loss. He will live on in the memory and music library of many! Sending love your way!” While another read, “You changed my life after I moved to Colorado. Thank you for all you’ve done in our music community!”