Obituary: James Jordan Austin

June 16, 1961 ~ September 2, 2022

James Jordan Austin, 61, of Washington Island, died peacefully early Friday morning, September 2, 2022.

He was born June 16, 1961 in Lake Forest, Illinois, son of the late MaryAnn “Mitt” (Mittlestaed) Austin. James graduated from Mundelein High School with the Class of 1982. Despite living a life with many hardships, James was the epitome of strength, determination, compassion, and kindness. He was always ready to give brilliant smiles and great hugs. James was known as the “best hugger” ever! He was a summer resident on Washington Island beginning in 1970 and in 2015, James moved to Washington Island with his mom and sister and was lovingly accepted by the entire Island community. He loved to watch professional wrestling and was affectionately called “Jammin James Jordan” as his wrestling name.

James will be held forever in the hearts of his siblings, David (Karen) Schafer of Des Plaines, IL, Marna Knight, and Richard “Andy” (former spouse, Karen Austin) Austin, both of Washington Island, WI; sister-in-law, Mary Knight of Woodstock, IL; nieces and nephews, Amy (John) Klink, Angie (Nate) Clines, Nicole Toci, Melissa (Richie) Diaz, Maxwell Austin, and Stephen Knight; niece-in-law, Stephanie (Zack) Carley; great-nieces and great-nephews, Hannah Clines, Leah Clines, John Patrick Klink, and (twins) Ayla and Autumn Klink, David Knight, and Elijah Dominic Diaz, Cora Leigh Diaz; and many dear friends.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mitt Austin; brother, Gilbert Knight; and nephew, Timothy Knight.

A memorial service to honor James’ life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made in his honor for Washington Island Community Health Program (WICHP), PO Box 277, Washington Island, WI 54246.

“Our family would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Beth Lux and the staff of Unity Hospice for the wonderful and compassionate care given to James.”

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Sister Bay is assisting the Austin family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of James may be shared with his family through his tribute page at