In memoriam: David B. Augustine

David Augustine

It is with great sadness we inform the Fermilab community that retired long-time Fermilab employee and friend to many David B. Augustine suddenly passed away on March 6, 2022, at the age of 66 years young.

Dave is survived by his loving wife Diane; sons David (Lindsay), Joel, and Timothy; grandchildren David Jr. and Ariana Augustine; siblings Constance Augustine, Mark (Denise) Augustine, Joette (Robert) Watson, and Diane Augustine; in-laws Lillian LaJevic-Augustine, Patricia Augustine, Connie Augustine, Michael (Anna) Martin, Susan (Ron) Loosli, Gloria (Duane) Zawistowski, and Peter (Janet) Martin; and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by countless colleagues at Fermilab who were blessed to work with Dave over the course of several decades and count him as a dear friend.

Dave retired from Fermilab in May 2017 after 39 years of service, mostly in Accelerator Division/Mechanical Support Department where he served as the operations manager and technical lead and supervisor of the MSD Technician Groups. After retirement, he and Diane retired in Bonita Springs, Florida, where Dave enjoyed fishing, spending time with his family, fixing anything and everything for everyone in the area, cooking and baking. Dave had the gift of exceptional enthusiasm, optimism, selflessness, strength and positivity.

David Augustine shown here with family members.

Dave embodied the Fermilab Accelerator Division can-do spirit. Dave was a born leader, never expecting anything from his team members that he wasn’t willing to do himself. Dave possessed a legendary, almost photographic, memory: He knew the majority of the Fermilab phone book by heart as well as what cabinet (out of a maze of cabinets) housed what specific piece of equipment. He had the ability to process complex information quickly, which made him an excellent, and often called upon, crisis manager. No matter which machine — Linac, Booster, Main Injector, Tevatron, P-bar or Switchyard — Dave was always in the thick of any crisis response, staying positive and creatively coming up with solutions. His enthusiasm, optimism and ability to quickly respond to a crisis were truly wonderful to witness, and he was at his best with the largest of challenges.

Early in his Fermilab career, Dave served as the lead technician of the Tevatron.

Early in his Fermilab career, Dave served as the lead technician of the Tevatron. He was the crew leader for all things TeV in normal operations, around-the-clock magnet changeouts, and shutdown upgrades. Dave seemed to know everything about the Tevatron and never turned down an opportunity to take new engineers underground for an in-depth tour and explanation of the entire facility. His knowledge of operations and mechanical subtleties was truly impressive and at times intimidating (in a good way)! No job was too large, complex or unattainable, due to Dave’s can-do attitude, enthusiasm and skill to lead the crews to a safe and successful outcome.

He was often seen energetically walking in the AD footprint area first thing in the morning, carrying a large cup of coffee, and greeting his colleagues with something like, “Good morning! Going to be a great day full of Big Science!”

It should be said that while Dave was a key individual to many decades of successful record-breaking accelerator operations, he was also a dear friend to many of his colleagues outside of Fermilab. Many have kept in regular contact with Dave in his retirement and enjoyed talking with him about a wide variety of topics (which often included how to fix any and everything). Dave was always ready at the drop of a hat to help his friends and colleagues with issues outside of work, and did so with kindness, zeal and overflowing optimism.

Dave leaves behind a large family of friends at Fermilab, ranging from young to not-so-young who bridge a wide range of jobs. The one thing we all can agree upon is that Dave was one of a handful of individuals you meet in life who is truly unique and special. Dave will be sorely missed, but his legacy lives on in the culture and the machines that he built within our Accelerator Division. He will be especially missed by those whose lives he touched. For many of us, the memories Dave will never fade and are a testament to his wonderful and caring character.

I know he often conveyed to many how much he loved his job and felt fortunate to work at Fermilab. I might suggest that his friends and coworkers were the fortunate ones … .

Dave’s obituary can be viewed at:!/Obituary.