There were no half-measures for Austin. He went all-in on his interests and passions. Nothing
was worth doing if he could not do it with all his heart. He demonstrated this gift throughout
his life. He entered adulthood in a quintessentially “Sixties” fashion – he became a musician and
a pool player living in California. He needed a fake ID when they played in Las Vegas. He
traveled the western states with his drums and the band. He always said that music was his
passion. Unfortunately, he needed to eat. It was then he decided to grow up. He returned to
California and settled into real estate. He endured both the boom and the bust of this industry.
He managed apartments in California, built apartments in Casper, Wyoming and launched a
community with a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a Martina Navratilova tennis club in Yuma,
Arizona. Although never a golfer, he worked continuously at his tennis game. He also made
travelling to his ongoing projects easier by becoming an instrument-rated pilot. But it was
always music that nurtured his soul.
In the 1990s he became a paralegal and eventually landed at BP. He enjoyed the work but could
not settle for the paralegal half-measure; he returned to school and received his JD at the
youthful age of 58. As a newly minted attorney, with a background in real estate, Austin was
transferred to Chicago to close real estate deals. This is where he met his wife, Marsha.
After he retired from BP, Austin changed course and developed into a dedicated Social Security
Disability attorney. He became a passionate advocate for the people he represented. He
finished his last case in November 2021.
While his case load lightened, his latest endeavor revolved around woodworking. He would
spend days in the garage where he designed a workshop. He handcrafted desks, tables, and an
entire kitchen of cabinets for the people he loved.
His parents, Austin J. McGreal, Jr. and Marilyn McGreal (nee Morrison) predeceased him. Austin
is survived by his wife Marsha Thomas, sisters Kim Pearson and Monique Milner, sons Michael
Murphy and Mathew Holton, and stepchildren Katharine Hildreth, Thomas Hildreth, Anne
Hildreth and Robert E. Hildreth. He is also survived by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and
many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life for Austin will be held in the Spring. Further information will be posted.
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