Command Sgt. Major (Ret) Austin Lee Pickett of Killeen began his eternal life in Heaven on Sept. 9, 2016. He died peacefully with his beloved wife Frances at his side. 

Command Sgt. Major (Ret) Austin Lee Pickett of Killeen began his eternal life in Heaven on Sept. 9, 2016. He died peacefully with his beloved wife Frances at his side. 

Austin was brought into this world by John and Mary Pickett on March 21, 1937 in Helena,.  He was raised in a loving family with 16 brothers and sisters, Austin being the youngest boy.

He joined the Army at the age of 17 in May 1954 at Fort Chaffee. 

Shortly after, he met and married the love of his life, Frances J. Pickett, on May 11, 1956 in San Miguel, California. The next step in his life was becoming a father to his three beautiful daughters, Audrey, Tanya and Renee.

CSM Pickett not only loved his beautiful wife and daughters, but also loved the Army. He was a combat engineer who served tours in Japan, Vietnam, Korea and Germany, and later taught at the Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, Texas. 

In August 1989 CSM Pickett was appointed as the Honorary Command Sergeant Major of the 62nd Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood, Texas.  During his service he acquired decorations and awards including:  the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Good Conduct Medal with Silver, 4 loops, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), Vietnam Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 5), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (Numeral 3), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, RVN Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class and the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge.

After he retired from the Army on June 30, 1983, while serving with the 2nd Armored Division, he continued to serve his community.  As a retiree he was involved in many military veterans’ organizations to include the Sergeants Major Association, AUSA, and the VFW, Post 9192. 

In addition to being a Shriner (Fort Leonard, MO) and a member of the Killeen Planning and Zoning Commission, CSM Pickett also devoted much of his time and effort to his Parish community at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killeen. He was a Council member and the chairman of the building committee for the New Parish Activities Center at the church.

Even in his final days on this earth CSM (Ret) Austin Lee Pickett continued to touch the hearts and lives of everyone he met. His memory and legacy is survived by his loving wife, Frances J. Pickett; his devoted daughters, Audrey Pickett Bressler, Tanya Pickett Horn and Renee Pickett Buchs, his sons-in-law; Lt.C (Ret) John W. Bressler II, Lt.C (Ret) Alan R. Horn and Col . (Ret) Todd A. Buchs; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 11 siblings and grandson, Todd Anthony Buchs II.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen, Texas.  Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killeen.  Burial with full military honors will follow at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of CSM (Ret) Austin Lee Pickett to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project or a charity of choice.