Passed away on July 17, 2009
Crystal Reid Austin, a business reporter for The Bismarck Tribune and former Associated Press reporter, died of complications related to vascular EDS. She was 29. She was a 2006 graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and editor of the student newspaper there, The Gateway. She also worked as a reporter for The Associated Press in Omaha in 2005 and 2006. At the time of her death, Reid Austin was a business reporter for The Bismarck Tribune and managing editor of Business Watch magazine. She was awarded The Associated Press Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, which included two months working in Germany with the AP in Berlin.
In a 2007 column written for The Tribune, Reid chronicled her battle with vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which was diagnosed at birth. Reid Austin was vice president of the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network and received the 2008 Teddy Roosevelt Award for Persistence from the organization. She also founded and was the director of Capitol Shakespeare, which helps organize a free outdoor production of one of the playwright’s works.
She was born in San Antonio on Feb. 28, 1980, and had lived in the Philippines, Germany, England and several U.S. states. She was the Department of Defense Dependent School System European women’s tennis champion in 1998, and twice selected to participate in the Model United Nations program in The Hague, The Netherlands. Reid Austin is survived by her husband, Rod Austin, whom she married on July 11. Other survivors include her parents, Frank and Brenda Reid of Plattsmouth, Neb., two stepchildren, a sister and a grandmother.