We remember our Friend and Colleague Bill Austin
Camino for Good wishes to honor our partner and friend, Bill Austin, who passed away on March 9, 2022. He leaves behind two incredible daughters who inherited his love of travel. MacKenzie Austin is in her final semester of Stanford law school and Shaylyn Austin, our business partner, is currently attending Yale University graduate school. Our hearts go out to the Austin family and the hundreds of people who were affected and touched by him.
Bill was a lifelong serial entrepreneur with companies in industries including cycling, importing, real estate, boat chartering, and eventually Camino for Good. Bill was in on the ground floor of our company and eventually became our chairman.
Bill was a great example of the Camino spirit with his open heart and adventurous spirit. Many of our virtual walkers were touched by Bill’s interaction and relationship with the Spanish and Portugese Alburgue owners that we were able to help in 2020 and 2021.
Bill passed away doing what he loved which brings comfort to those of us who loved him. Due to a scuba diving accident, we lost him way too soon and he will be dearly missed within our company and of course by all his friends and family.
Bill shared many of his Camino stories in our blog and we will leave you links here if you would like to read more about him.
Here are thoughts of Bill from our partners.
“Bill Austin was my friend and business partner. He was wise, kind, gentle, compassionate, and fun. When I talked with Bill, I always knew he was really listening. And when he responded it was always a well thought out response.
In our Camino for Good company, he shared with us what the Camino meant to him and helped us focus on creating a true spiritual Camino experience for each person signing up. Bill always took time to enjoy life.
I will remember Bill as a wonderful example of someone who lived his passions. Thank you, Bill, for being you.
“It would be an understatement to say that Bill Austin had, and continues to have, a great impact on many people’s lives.
I first heard of ‘Camino Bill’ when I listened as Kelly (one of my 2018 Camino family) was asked the inevitable question… “why are you doing the Camino?” What unfolded in Kelly’s responses was the influence Bill had on encouraging her, and many others, to undertake the transformative life journey we know as the Camino.
On meeting Bill through the Camino for Good project the real Bill lived up to, and exceeded, the reputation that preceded him. His passion for all things Camino had clearly translated into a passion and enthusiasm for all of life. I know and remember Bill fondly as a man who loved stories – telling them and hearing them. When I listened to Bill tell his own vivid stories of people, events and places along the Camino, I was myself instantly transported to that place and time – perhaps having a cerveza or two and celebrating with new pilgrim friends the end of another Camino day.
Bill was one of those people, if you knew him for ten minutes he became a friend for life. I am sad that, due to travel restrictions, I never got to meet him in the flesh for that inevitable get together we were planning on. Bill’s passing is an indelible reminder for me to live each day doing what you love. He will always be remembered.”