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Alice Austin Obituary

Alice Austin

AUSTIN, Alice S.

Alice Sabin Austin, of Berwick, Maine, died on August 30th in Portland, Maine after a short illness, surrounded by her family and close friends. Alice was born on February 21, 1971 in Needham, MA. Alice is survived by her daughter Augusta I. Drisko and son Fisher K. Drisko; her mother, Dawn I. Austin Ansty; her father, Charles A. Austin III and stepmother, Catherine M. Scifres; her sister Samantha I.A. Young and her husband, David; her brothers, Charles A. Austin IV and his wife, Elinor, Frederick A. Austin and his wife, Stacy; her stepbrothers, Charles Ansty and his wife, Lisa, Hugh S. Ansty and his wife, RoseAnn, stepsister, Martha F. Ansty and her husband, Bill; her former husband, Jason Drisko and six nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother Curtis Y. Austin.

Alice was a professional audio describer for the blind. She began her career at WGBH Descriptive Video Service in Boston where she described hundreds of hours of film and broadcast television. In 2003 Alice launched her own business as an audio describer, providing access to hundreds of hours of television programming including documentaries, reality TV, children's programs and crime drama. In cooperation with WETA in Washington, DC, Alice was one of two live audio describers of the 2000 Presidential Inauguration. In 2004, Alice provided live description for the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, including the keynote address of the Presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Alice also described live theatre performances, presentations, museum tours and independent films. She was the primary describer for the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge as well as a describer for many other New England theater clients.

Alice was a free spirit, jumping on every opportunity to act for the causes she believed in and plunging into adventures she thought were interesting or fun. She was a smart, funny, unconventional woman. Her integrity was unimpeachable and she never suffered fools. She fought fiercely for community, compassion, truth and for common sense and never did anything the "right" way. She was a great friend to many people and was passionately devoted to her children.

A memorial celebration honoring Alice's life will be held in Maine at a future date for close friends and family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Alice's memory may be made to the following: Alice Austin Memorial Fund - White Pines Summer Day Camp, Cape Neddick, Maine. Donate Here (please be sure to type "Alice Austin Memorial Fund" in the memo section of the donation screen before submitting) Perkins Library, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472; or online at