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John P. Huntsberger, Jr.

Obituary for John P. Huntsberger, Jr.

November 22, 1931 - November 1, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 85


Dr. John P. Huntsberger, Jr., age 85, passed away November 1, 2017, in Austin, Texas. He was born on November 22, 1931, in Los Angeles, California to John, Sr., and Dorothy Huntsberger.

John was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He served his country during the Korean War, stationed at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK. He had brief dispatch to Kotzebue, AK, where he copied Chinese and Russian code, one of very few who could handle 'spark- gap transmission' and the Cyrillic alphabet without error.

John completed his undergraduate studies at Portland State, earned his Masters and Doctoral Degrees at Oregon State University and was recruited to a position in Science Education at The University of Texas at Austin where for 20 years he taught graduate Science Education students how to teach geology, astronomy and meteorology. John was an outstanding educator, the recipient of several Teaching Excellence Awards at UT and a lifelong learner and a lifelong teacher. His travels on UT field trips took him to Costa Rica, throughout Texas and the Southwest to Wyoming. Geology and History of Science took him to China; visiting and teaching with former students took him to Taiwan.

John was also a remarkable musician, vocalist, performer and emcee. Locally, nationally and internationally known, he played 4-string Banjo, the Banjo integral to Dixieland Jazz and Music of the 1920's. John founded the Northwest Banjo Band in Corvallis, Oregon in 1968 and the Austin Banjo Club in Texas in 1975. He traveled yearly to 4-string Jamborees in several states, in Canada and in Germany and was 'The Banjo' at Shakey's Pizza Parlor and for Dixieland Bands in Oregon and in Central Texas for a total of 30 years or more.

An amateur astronomer, John was an active member of the Austin Astronomical Society, and a Founder of the Sisters, Oregon, Astronomy Club. He traveled with telescope to the annual Texas Star Party, near Ft. Davis, TX, to star parties in south Texas, California and Idaho and made 5 trips to the "Deepest South Texas Star Safari" near Coonabarabran, NSW. Australia. [The telescope traveled separately!]

Dr. Huntsberger is survived by his children: Steve Huntsberger of Salt Lake City, Utah, Paul Huntsberger of Austin, Texas, and Ruth Howard of LaQuinta, California; and grandchildren, Ian Huntsberger, Audrey Huntsberger, Claire Huntsberger and Aaron Huntsberger.

There will be a Celebration of John's Life on Sunday, January 14, 2018 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Quality Seafood, 5621 Airport Blvd in Austin.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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