Austin Veile

Austin Veile
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Austin Richard Veile, 21 years old, died Saturday morning at the Mercy-West County Burn Unit after being rescued from a home fire.  Austin was born on November 15, 1995, at St. John’s Mercy Medical where he also died on July 29, 2017.

Austin graduated from Signal Hill School in 2010, where he was the cutest pickpocket in the SHS 8th grade production of “Oliver!”  He graduated early from Belleville West High School in 2014, where he was on the golf team and bass fishing club.  Musically-inclined, Veile played cello in the orchestra. He scored extra credit points EVERY day in Mr. Lombardi’s Honors Biology class bringing in natural treasures. He didn’t worry about grades, but he was a 99 percenter on every standardized test.

His first-grade teacher pegged his lead intelligence as a Naturalist, and he was happiest out in nature. He loved exploring the St. Clair County Greenspace preservation. He fished every creek and pond in the area.  He once noodled a fish out of Richland Creek. Austin had a sixth sense for reptiles; snakes, lizards and skinks seemingly came out to greet him wherever he went.

This was one Go boy. He mastered tricks on everything that had wheels: trike, bike, skateboard, trick bike and even unicycle (while juggling). Austin loved to Par Coeur, running, jumping and scampering toward everything in sight. He taught himself to play many string instruments, including guitar, ukulele and cello. On his 8th grade trip to Chicago, Austin “busked” at Navy Pier and made enough to buy a new guitar. Austin went with his dad to scout Philmont and the Northern Boundary Waters. The inseparable pair went deep sea fishing in Florida, fly fishing the Frying Pan and Gunnison Rivers in Colorado, trout fishing at Bennett Springs and Montauk.  Austin always caught his limit (and Al’s).

Well-traveled, Austin lived in South Africa, visited Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Costa Rica. He certified in SCUBA when he was 12 at Metropolis, and dove in Turks and Caicos, Akumel, Cozumel and Costa Rica. Austin learned to paraglide at Kitty Hawk. He enjoyed hiking with his family in the Smokey Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bryce, Zion, and Big Bend. The family made annual fall pilgrimages to Giant City, Garden of the Gods, and Pere Marquette.  He toured Niagara Falls, Longhorn Caverns, Meramec Caverns and Inner Space. Austin “Danger” Veile snow skied and boarded Aspen, Crested Butte, Keystone, Breckinridge, Snow Mass, Winter Park, Vail and Beaver Creek. There is a semi-viral video of Danger down hilling in his boxers.

Most summers, he and Allyson went to Texas for “Camp Grandpa” with cousins Stephen Graham, DJ Alley, and all the fun Faith cousins. He worked cattle, rode horses, and picked pecans. His dearly-departed grandpa bragged that Austin was the only grandchild who didn’t break down his John Deere or Bobcat tractors.  He loved fishing in “Austin’s Pond” and the Donohoe river.

Austin’s musical interests were eclectic and varied.  He loved the Grateful Dead, Sublime, The Beatles, Bassnectar, and Robert Earl Keen Jr. He experienced peak concerts with last summer’s Dead tour at Chicago’s Soldier Field. He and his mom enjoyed the three-day Austin City Limits ACL Fest last year with his cousin, Stephen.

An entrepreneur from early on, Austin started up SnakeBusters, a wildly successful reptile removal and transfer program in the neighborhood (ball python adoption available).  Austin totally immersed himself in his art, wire wrapping beautiful jewelry and wire tree sculptures for his fledgling business “Keep Austin Wired.”  He pedaled his treasures at the Signal Hill Holiday on the Boulevard, the St. Clair Fairgrounds Flea Market and online.  He also created tie dyes, blown glass, and hemp braided bracelets. While working as a pool technician, he innovated new devices for sealing leaks in buried pool lines and for vacuuming pools. He had just started building his own business, servicing pools in the west end.

The family plans to travel with Austin’s cremated remains to his favorite places to honor his life, vitality, brilliance, humor, creativity, and wanderlust.

Our son was welcomed into heaven by his grandparents, Dick and Joy Alley of Texas; Oscar and Ruth Veile of Belleville; and his adored second mom, Joni Quaas of Belleville.

He is survived by his parents, Alan and Donna Veile of Belleville, IL;
sister, Allyson Joy Veile of Austin, TX;
godparents, Denise Alley Graham of Austin, TX, and Richard Veile of Oak Dale, IL;
an uncle, Ben Alley of Cranfills Gap, TX;
an aunt, Jo-Ellen Veile of Lincoln, IL;
his longtime nanny, Renee Range Gomric of Belleville, IL;
and many cousins.

The family thanks the heroics of the Signal Hill Volunteer Fire Department, especially Tim Bainter, and the EMT’s who attended to our precious son.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for memorials to be donated to the St. Clair County Greenspace Foundation.  We plan to fortify the bridges on the trail over the creek he loved so well.  For more information about the short life of this wonderful young soul, please visit his expanded story at

Visitation:  Friends may visit with the family from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, August 3, 2017, and again from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 4, 2017, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 4, 2017, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL with Signal Hill Lutheran Pastor Mark Wiesner officiating.


35 Comments on Austin Veile

John Cochran said : Guest Report Aug 22, 2017 at 11:40 AM

What an amazing young Man, I am so sorry for your loss and your entire Family are in my prayers. Blessings to you all.

  • Fort Worth
  • TX
Cowboy Larry an Barbara Nell Cope said : Guest Report Aug 07, 2017 at 7:55 PM

We are so sorry for your loss. Y'all are in our thoughts an prayers Cowboy Larry an Barbara Nell Leander Tx

  • Leander
  • Tx
Nancy Bucknell said : Guest Report Aug 07, 2017 at 3:53 PM

Al & Donna, Mike and I are so sorry to hear of your son's passing. You are in our prayers.

  • Omaha
  • NE
Mark Scharpenburg said : Guest Report Aug 07, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Al and Donna. I have just heard of this and it hits me with great sadness. I pray God gives you some peace and understanding during this time of grief in your family's life.

  • Omaha
  • NE
James Draper said : Guest Report Aug 06, 2017 at 4:15 AM

The Veile Family, Like a song that remains in the heart when the music is playing no more, Like a fragrance that stays in the air where a flower has blossomed before… Like a star that continues to glow Long after the breaking of dawn, The ones we have loved remain with us still…. And their beautiful memories go on. Thinking of you and hoping you find comfort, strength, and peace in the knowledge that love is forever. With Sympathy and Prayers for all your family. The Drapers

  • Plano
  • Texas
Dan & Jan Hughes said : Guest Report Aug 05, 2017 at 9:29 PM

Al, So sorry for you loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Innsbrook
  • Mo
Nancy & Brian Armstrong said : Guest Report Aug 05, 2017 at 3:38 PM

Al & Donna, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our prayers go out to your whole family.

  • Ellisville
  • MO
John & Ann Heimann said : Guest Report Aug 05, 2017 at 1:36 AM

Al & Donna, So very sorry for your loss.

  • Shiloh
  • IL
Julie Conner said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 9:31 PM

Donna and Family - I'm heartbroken to learn of your loss. My wish will be that the obvious joy his life gave you will help ease your grief and give you countless moments to linger in the happy memories. My sincerest sympathies.

  • Atlanta
  • GA
Donna Nettleton said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 9:09 PM

Al and family, I am so sorry for the loss of your son. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Shiloh
  • Il
Neil Conb said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 6:50 PM

Dear Donna and family, I am so saddened to hear about Austin, a courageous and talented young man whose gifts have enriched this world. My deepest sympathies.

  • Plano
  • Tx
Nancy and Lew Laughlin said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 6:22 PM

A beautifully written tribute full of love and admiration to your dear Austin. Oh, the places he's been and the places he has yet to go. May God give you strength to carry on and peace to soothe your aching hearts. With our very deepest and most sincere sympathy.

  • Las Vegas
  • NV
Diana Zschiesche said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 6:19 PM

Donna and Al, I am so sorry for your heart breaking loss. Prayers for you , Al and Allison during this healing time. Austin's obituary was brilliant, what a bright intellectually curious person.

  • Austin
  • TX
Tom Buettner said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 5:51 PM

Dear Alan, what a wonderful testimonial to your son. You have been such a great father and your son is such an impressive tribute to you. Austin had such a full life. You certainly did something right. It seems Austin was too good for this world and God needed him in heaven. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Ballwin
  • Missouri
Marcia Diefendorff said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 5:09 AM

What a beautiful tribute to an amazing young man. Sending your family love and hugs in this very difficult time.

  • Los Gatos
  • CA
Galen Gates said : Guest Report Aug 04, 2017 at 1:41 AM

Donna, I am so sorry to hear of this tragic loss. I so wish I had the ability to take away the pain you are feeling... Hopefully in time the pain will ease and the memories will bring you back to the wonderful time you experienced in Austin's short but full life. I love you and will be praying for you and your family's well being. - Galen

  • Azle
  • TX
Tom & Donna Bauman said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 11:38 PM

Fly well helicopter!

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Jean Wehmeir said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 10:19 PM

What a talented young man! You have my deepest sympathy.

  • St. Louis
  • MO
Racial Harmony said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 9:02 PM

Our condolences go out to the family. Although we did not know Austin personally, we knew his grandmother. Her heart is made of gold and I am sure Austin yours was too. You are with the Angels. God Bless on behalf of the organization of Racial Harmony, Donna Moody, President

  • Belleville
  • IL
Bob & Yvonne Kenny said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 2:41 PM

We're greatly saddened by your loss & will pray for all your family during this brutal time.

  • Roswell
  • GA
The ALLISON's said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 11:29 AM

You all are in our thoughts & prayers. Thank you for the wonderful tribute to Austin.

  • San Antonio
  • Tx
Dell & Karen Morey said : Guest Report Aug 03, 2017 at 12:28 AM

Donna and family we are so sorry for your loss. Austin was a one of a kind kid and will be missed by all. May god wrap his arms around your family and give you comfort.

  • Rogers
  • TX
Tom and Diana Barnett said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 10:07 PM

Thank you for sharing Austin"s beautiful life. He was a very special son. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. May all these special memories help to bring you peace.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Deanna Dent said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Donna, Al and Allyson...I has been a pleasure to read of the full and adventurous life Austin has led...He was blessed with such quality life experiences, admirable accomplishments and such a great love from his family.... We should each seek to experience life as fully as he has! Our love and prayers are with your family!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mary said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 6:09 PM

I have never met Austin but saw his obituary in BND and followed it over to Renner online. Such a wonderful human being and such a beautiful tribute to him. I truly share in your loss as it is so evident he lived such a spectacular existance and was so well loved by those near and dear to him. God has grand plans for such a compassionate and brilliant young man with so many talents and such potential. You are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing his story. What a gift. Blessings to his family. He left you with so many wonderful memories.

  • New Athens
  • IL
Pat kueper said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 4:34 PM

What a sweet boy to go with God! Donna, al and allison, i am truly overwelcomed for you. You are all in my prayers. Ly all.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Jennifer Plum said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 2:51 PM

Donna and Family - I will keep you in my prayers during this difficult earthly time when the Lord has called one of his special children home.

  • Sandy Springs
  • GA
Lew Brashares said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 2:09 PM

Donna and Al, I am so sorry for your loss of this adventurous, creative, musical, loving young person. Regards, Lew

  • Northbrook
  • IL
Frances Mikulic said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 1:54 PM

Donna, My prayers are with you and the family. Thank you for the wonderful story of his life. The dedication, love for Austin will live on in many ways. Peace and prayers.

  • Flemington
  • NJ
Paul Lillis said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 12:08 PM

Donna, Alan, Allyson and family, please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of your lovely son. Paul Lillis and family.

  • Illinois
Mariah Douglas said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 4:04 AM

I only knew Austin for a month but I could tell he was loved by lots of people and animals he just has that go with the follow feeling I'm very sorry for your lost

  • Ofallon
  • Illinois
Mary & Bob Fischer said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 3:12 AM

Donna and family, We are deeply saddened by the loss of your beloved son and brother. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers

  • St Charles
  • MO
Cyndy Reynolds said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 2:13 AM

Dearest Donna and family, I didn't know Austin well , but feel I do now after reading the beautiful tribute for such a special son. My heart grieves for you and your family. I am praying for you daily.

  • Austin
  • TX
Amber Brown said : Guest Report Aug 02, 2017 at 1:24 AM

Donna, there are simply no words from one mother of a son to another. My heart breaks for you and your family. What a beautiful, adventurous soul, your boy. I prayed that peace comes to you until you see him again.

  • Fort Worth
  • Texas
Mary R. Weaver said : Guest Report Aug 01, 2017 at 9:30 PM

Donna and sincere condolences to you in the loss of your precious son Austin. Prayers will be offered and will continue. Sincerely, Mary R. Weaver, AT&T

  • Southport
  • NC

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