Music made Dana Augustin happy, whether it was her own or the songs she performed with her church group, or anything by Billy Joel. But she also loved playing games, telling jokes, drawing, painting, woodworking, and hanging out with a cat named Bubba. She was fond of dropping word-for-word quotes from the many obscure old movies she loved. And she appreciated a properly crafted cheese burger or a sublime Michigan sunset.
None of these things really mattered, however, unless she was doing them with the people she loved.
“That’s where she wanted to be,” said Sandy Augustin Dehner, her mother. “She wanted to be with the people she loved.” And so she was with them on Thursday when, after a brief illness, Dana Marie Augustin died. She was 51.
Dana is preceded in death by her father, James, as well as her beloved grandmother, Lola Clarke. She is survived by her loving partner of more than 10 years, Karen Jonke; her mother, Sandy Augustin Dehner; step-father, John Dehner; sister, Andrea Stanley; brothers Michael and Joseph Augustin; and her beloved nieces, Allison and Naedeine Stanley. She is also survived by her step sisters Jenny (Jeff) Cox, of Dayton, and Mary (John) Carpenter, of Wilmette, Illinois; step brothers John (Amber) Dehner of Bloomington, and Tom (Carol Mallory) Dehner of Boston, as well as 11 step-nieces and nephews, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Born and raised in Richmond, Dana graduated from Richmond High School in 1986 and from DePauw University in 1990. She was a proud member of the marching band for both schools, and studied music education in college.
Dana lived briefly in Minnesota and Indianapolis after college, before returning to Richmond. She eventually joined the community of the Sisters of Providence at St. Mary-of-the-Woods in Terre Haute, where she was preparing to be a Catholic nun. She left the community after five years and returned to Richmond. But she remained an active member of the Folk Group at St. Mary Catholic Church, where she sang, and played guitar, bass, and trumpet.
“Music was a huge part of who she was,” said Jonke. “She played. She sang. She wrote music, and she played at church. She loved all music.” But she loved people more, Jonke said. “She was definitely the most compassionate person I’ve ever known,” she said. “Everybody feels that, even when they meet her for the first time.” The compassion could be seen in her work with SPRED, a religious education program for special needs children, where she volunteered as a facilitator. Dana also worked in the customer service department at Masterbrand Cabinets in Richmond.
Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday October 23, 2019 at St. Mary’s Church of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish, with Rev. Todd Reibe officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Friends may call 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday October 22, 2019 at Stegall-Berheide-Orr Funeral Home. There will be music. Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.stegallberheideorr.com