Jorge Iglesias Austrich was born in Cuba’s capital city of Havana to Jaime Jesus Austrich and Piedad Iglesias Austrich on April 19, 1949, the eldest of what would soon become a family of 6. At 8 years of age he excitedly left the island for the land of rock & roll and the Wild West, attaining temporary residency in Santa Rosa, New Mexico with his parents and younger sisters Lillian and Susie, where his dad secured a job as an insurance underwriter. Several years later they would return to Cuba so his mother could deliver her 4th child, Gonzalo, amongst close family and friends. At age 13 Jorge, his parents and siblings would once again make their way to the United States, landing in Miami, Florida in 1963. Lured from Florida to Maryland for a lucrative position with Maryland Casualty (now Zurich Insurance) Jaime Austrich and his family would settle in Baltimore where Jorge would graduate high school from Baltimore’s renowned City College before returning to Florida to attend Miami Dade College and the University of Miami.
After marrying his college sweetheart Jorge returned to Baltimore where he raised his son Jaime and began working for Maryland’s State Road Commission (now Maryland State Highway). Jorge would later obtain his Bachelors of Science for Business Administration from Towson University and go on to maintain several high profile positions at Maryland’s Department of Economic Development where he largely served as Director of their Small Business Programs, receiving awards and honors for his successful initiatives and being heralded nationally as one of the country’s Top Hispanics in Business and Technology.
In 2000 Jorge met Paulette Pettit, a Baltimore native freshly transplanted from New York City, whom he would wed in 2003. The couple would later move from their leafy Arcadia neighborhood in Baltimore to Tampa, Florida in late 2015 after Jorge retired from the State of Maryland after 30 years of public and private service.
He is survived by his wife of 18 years Paulette Pettit Austrich, son Jaime Austrich, aunt Josephina Austrich, daughter-in-law Candace Austrich, granddaughters Madison and Morgan Austrich, siblings, Lillian Bowie Austrich, Susie Hatch and James (Gonzalo) Austrich, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Words cannot express the depth of our love and admiration and gratitude. You were our rock, our champion, our hero. We love you so much, Jorge. You will forever live in our hearts.
-Paulette Austrich & Family