Ken Austin: In Memoriam

The Oregon Historical Society is saddened to learn of the passing of our good friend, Ken Austin. Entrepreneurs, community leaders, and philanthropists, Ken and Joan Austin were the co-founders and owners of A-dec, the world’s largest manufacturer of dental operatory equipment. Headquartered in Newberg, Oregon, it has become one of the most successful companies in its field, with a mission to create innovative and lasting solutions for the betterment of dentistry.

Whether working individually or together, Ken and Joan contributed enormously to the advancement of education, culture, and social justice in our state. As a team, they had a long track record of effective philanthropy and committed volunteerism. For their entrepreneurial endeavors in Oregon business, and for their extensive community involvement, Ken and Joan Austin were honored as Oregon History Makers in 2011.

“There is no doubt that history will reflect the fact that Ken Austin was a true giant of Oregon,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “Through his genius, his generosity, and his gentle leadership, Ken Austin transformed an entire industry, made Newberg a healthier and more vibrant community, made his beloved Oregon State University a better and stronger institution, and made countless worthy causes across Oregon more financially secure organizations. His legacy will continue to positively impact lives for generations yet to come.”