Jan. 22, 1918 – Jan. 10, 2013
Austin J. Short, a 43-year employee of Linde who took part in the Manhattan Project, died Thursday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital following a brief illness. He was 94.
A 1938 graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, Mr. Short earned his bachelor’s degree from Canisius College before earning his master’s degree in chemistry from Canisius in 1947.
He began his career in a dynamite factory in Niagara Falls before starting a 43 year career at Linde, a Division of Union Carbide Corp., in the Town of Tonawanda. He was excused from military service for his participation in the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the production of the first atomic bomb. His team’s role was to extract the radioactive uranium from the raw ore.
During the remainder of his career at Linde, he generated several patents related to his work with water treatment and the storage of liquid gases.
Mr. Short and his wife, the former Irene Murphy, were active members of St. John the Baptist Church in the Town of Tonawanda, attending Mass daily after his retirement.
In 1962, the Shorts purchased a summer home on Sunset Bay in Wainfleet, Ont. Mr. Short was president of the Sunset Bay Beach Association and regular winner of the annual association sailing race and horseshoe championships.
Mr. Short built a 32-foot sailboat in the family’s backyard and christened it the “Aus-Ten,” named after the builder and the number of family members who assisted. In the summer of 1986, he and his wife sailed the boat through the Erie Canal to New York Harbor for “Liberty Weekend” the four-day celebration of the restoration and 100-year anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
In the winter, he and his family were avid skiers. Mr. and Mrs. Short were season pass holders at Holiday Valley up to age 75.
His wife died last year after 62 years of marriage.
He is survived by five daughters, Mary Maynard, Kathleen Cartus, Patricia Leslie, Deborah and Elizabeth Jaremka; three sons, Kenneth, Timothy and Joseph; and a brother, Richard.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:45 a.m. Monday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.