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Dr. John Charles Aust

6/24/24


Dr. John Charles Aust, 85, of Skaneateles, NY, passed away at his home on June 24, 2024, with his loving wife, Bethany, and children, Andy and Jenny, by his side. A distinguished surgeon, dedicated educator, devoted husband and father, and adored “papa” (grandfather), Dr. Aust leaves behind a legacy of excellence, compassion, and unwavering love.


Born on December 22, 1938, to Edith and Joe Aust, John grew up in Niagara Falls and graduated from LaSalle High School in 1956. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, his MD from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and his General Surgical Residency and an M.S. in Immunology from the University of Minnesota.


John married Louise Liddon in 1961 and they had two children, John Andrew and Jennifer. The Aust family moved to Manlius, NY, in 1972 where John joined SUNY Upstate Medical University as a Professor of Surgery. Clinical teaching was his passion. He served as Director of the General Surgery Residency Program, Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery, Professor and Chief of the Division of General Surgery from 1995-2003. In 2003, he retired as Emeritus Professor, Department of Surgery. He was also an active member of numerous professional societies and local/state committees, notably the American Cancer Society NY Division.


Despite his demanding profession, John prioritized his family, rarely missing a hockey, lacrosse, or soccer game, dance performance, or weekday dinner. His loved ones cherished his guidance and humor, whether it was advice on budgets, health ailments, or wine pairings.


In 2001, John married his true love and soulmate, Bethany, and moved to Skaneateles. When he retired, he embraced a slower pace of life, indulging in his passions for painting lake sunsets, car picnics, puzzles, sailing their J/24 sailboat Paprika, and traveling. An avid reader until his final days, John often immersed himself in The Economist or historical fiction.


John will be fondly remembered for his big-heartedness, dashing mustache, bow ties, table slapping laugh, and for getting the tape measure out on his bocce court. He knew how to mix the best gin and tonics on a summer afternoon or an Old Fashioned when the air was crisp. He delighted in precisely carving a turkey, sharing colorful jokes, and enjoying his favorite dessert, cherry pie.


John is survived by his wife, Bethany; his son, Andrew, and daughter-in-law, Susan (Touchette), of Boulder, CO; his daughter, Jennifer, and son-in-law, Robert Stroud, of Lafayette, CO; his former wife, Louise Crichton, of Raleigh, NC; and grandsons Tucker Aust, Bailey Aust, and Shay Stroud. He was predeceased by his brother, Bradley, and beloved grandson, Ty Stroud.


At John’s request, services will be private. The family kindly requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society instead of flowers.

7 comments

7 Comments


Guest
Jul 13

Bethany: We’re sorry to hear of John’s death. We were classmates and we met you a few years ago at a reunion. He was a great fellow, very smart, and full of fun in a responsible way. I had the sense that we could have been good friends if we lived near each other. We also enjoyed meeting you and I remember your telling us about your activities in Skineateles(?sp)

All the best to you.

Jim and Erica Curtis

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Guest
Jun 30

Bethany, I am so sorry to he of the passing of John. We had so many great cases over the years and he was so skilled. You will be in my prayers. Bobby Shea

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Guest
Jun 30

To Bethany and family, I have tears reading about Dr Aust. I worked with him not infrequently to discuss medical care. I appreciated his thinking and explanations, and his efforts to do well and teach. He provided a legacy in medical care through his career. May the Lord comfort you all. Pat Simmons

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Guest
Jun 30

Bethany, You are in my thoughts and prayers. Know you and Dr Aust were kindred spirits in mentoring and setting standards of care. Am glad you had time to enjoy life outside of work together. Hugs, Lisa Tepper Mitchell

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Guest
Jun 28

Dr Aust had the right mix as a teacher of surgical residents:he let us find our way becoming independent but was there to back us up so we did not get in over our heads when needed Larry Semel

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Guest
Jul 02
Replying to

Dr. Semel, John would have been so proud to read your comment. Teaching the residents was the highlight of his career. Thank you, Bethany

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