Aust, a retired teacher, activities director and school
principal in the Tustin Unified School District, and longtime
board member for the Tustin Public Schools Foundation,
passed away on Saturday, August 12, following emergency
surgery for a staph infection. He was 78 years old.
worked in public education for 39 years – 37 of those
in the Tustin school district. He started his career as
a junior high school teacher in Vancouver, Washington.
Gerry came to Tustin in 1963 and, over the years, taught
at C.E. Utt and Hewes middle schools, was activities director
and assistant principal at Hewes, and served as principal
of Arroyo and Marjorie Veeh elementary schools, and Columbus
Tustin and C.E. Utt middle schools. Under his leadership
at Arroyo, the school was named a National Blue Ribbon
School in 1989-90. Gerry was also instrumental in reopening
Utt School in 1994 and establishing the Applied Math and
Science Magnet Program at Columbus Tustin School.
retired in 2000, but never really stopped working. He
served as an interim principal or assistant principal
at almost every school in Tustin Unified, including Barbara
Benson, Hicks Canyon, Peters Canyon and Jeane Thorman
elementary schools; Columbus Tustin, A.G. Currie and Pioneer
middle schools; and Foothill and Tustin high schools.
As interim assistant principal, he helped open Hicks Canyon
School in 2004.
his many community service activities, Gerry served on
the Tustin Public Schools Foundation (TPSF) Board of Directors
for 17 years. He and Diane were involved in the Dinosaur
Dash 2K/5K/10K race since it began 26 years ago and served
as co-chairs of the annual event for two years. Gerry
also served as master of ceremonies for the annual TPSF
Teacher of the Year Dinner for 16 years and was Honorary
Superintendent of the Foundation’s Summer Academy program
for elementary and middle school students. Gerry was a
longtime member of the Tustin-Santa Ana Rotary Club serving
twice as its president and coordinating the club’s high
school scholarships program for many years. He served
on the Tustin Area Council for Fine Arts’ Encore Group
supporting the arts in the community, was a board member
for the Assessment and Treatment Services Center, served
on the Tustin Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors,
and was involved in the Tustin Chili Cook-Off and Tustin
Tiller Days. He was also an active member of Red Hill
received several honors over the years, including Tustin
Area Man of the Year in 2005, Tustin School Management
Association’s Community Service Award in 2000 and 2009
for his contributions to the education of TUSD students,
and Orange County Retired Administrator of the Year in
2012 by the Association of California School Administrators,
Region 17, for his ongoing volunteer work in education
and the community. In 2008, he co-chaired Tustin Unified’s
Measure L school facilities modernization bond campaign,
which successfully passed.
is survived by his wife, Diane; sons, Eric and Brian;
daughters-in-law, Beth and Dorothy; and five grandchildren.
Both of his sons attended TUSD schools and graduated from
Foothill High School.
memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August
16, at Red Hill Lutheran Church, 13200 Red Hill Avenue,
Tustin. Following the service at 3 p.m, there will be
a reception at the Tustin Ranch Golf Club, 12442 Tustin
Ranch Road, Tustin.
lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Gerry Aust
Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Tustin Public Schools
Foundation at www.tpsf.net.
and letters can be sent to the Aust family at 13861 Holt
Avenue, North Tustin, CA 92705.
hearts and thoughts go out to his family. Gerry was a
TUSD icon and he will be greatly missed.
Director of Communications and Public Information
Tustin Unified School District
Aust Obituary - OC
Register, September 3, 2017
Gerry Aust's Memorial Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slEglYT2EfE