William Austin Germani, 19, of Crozet, Virginia, passed away peacefully on April 29, 2017, surrounded by his family. Born on January 30, 1998, Austin graduated from Western Albemarle High School, class of 2016, and was a freshman at Christopher Newport University.
Austin’s smile was as unmistakable as his wit. Old and new friends alike note that his warmth was felt by all those in his presence. His smile was described as lighting the room, ever-present, and contagious, while his hugs were warm and freely-given. At a CNU memorial service for Austin, the Vice President of Student Affairs remarked that Austin already understood the importance and responsibility of distinguishing himself during his time on this earth, which he chose to do in the pursuit of helping others, often before himself. Examples of Austin’s humanity include sitting up at night to help fellow students with their homework, helping one friend reverse their decision to drop out of college, and learning to help another friend control their panic attacks. The enormity of his loss is palpable in the voices of those who knew and loved him.
Austin is survived by his brother Colton Germani, his mother Ginger Pomfrey Germani of Crozet, and his father Alan Edward Germani of Richmond as well as his grandparents, who include his maternal grandmother Sandi Slate of Richmond, his maternal grandfather Ron Pomfrey of Mechanicsville, his paternal grandfather Tony Germani of Louisa County, his paternal grandparents Harriet and Don Taylor of Midlothian, and his maternal great-grandmother Virginia Slate of Richmond, as well as special aunts, uncles and cousins. He is also survived by his girlfriend, Darby Stephens, whom he met at CNU and proclaimed the “woman of his dreams.”
A memorial service to honor Austin’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 3 at Crozet United Methodist Church. A reception will immediately follow at The RoofTop in Piedmont Place, Crozet. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to the Austin Germani Memorial Fund, c/o Old Dominion National Bank, Charlottesville, VA. Donations will support a cause Austin was passionate about: making therapy dogs available for those battling depression or anxiety.