OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
391 Inverness Parkway, Suite 300-B, Englewood, CO
Ronald Keith Avery
Published: March 13, 2018
Ronald "Ron" Avery was born in New Orleans, La. to Ernest Augustus Avery and Willie Virginia (Peal) Avery. After his birth, the family moved to Baton Rouge, where Ron grew up along with his younger brother Ray. Even as a child Ron was a genius. His superior intellect played out to help him skip the third grade. When he and Suzi would talk about this, he would comment that no one told him anything about it -- they just told him to go to the next class. He told Suzi that he wasn't quite sure what was going on, but the promotion did relieve any boredom.
As he and his brother grew, they survived a number of incidents we will call "boy" stuff. A memorable one was when younger brother Ray was teaching Ron how to swing a golf club. Unbeknownst to Ray, Ron was standing too close to the swing and got cold-cocked by his baby brother; knocked out cold. For the longest time, Ron had the imprint of a "W" on his forehead.
True to his nature, Ron was the Salutatorian of his High School Class and immediately started on his college years at LSU. He was a member of the LSU chapter of the Phi Eta Sigma Fraternity and graduated first in his class from the College of Chemistry and Physics in 1962 with a B.S. degree in Physics (Particle Physics). Ron was recruited by IBM and began a career in the space industry that spanned 42 years. He spent a couple of years in New York, where he decided it was possible to get too cold, so transferred to Huntsville, Alabama. The last 25 years of Ron's working life were spent in Houston, Texas. Throughout his career, IBM was busy selling pieces of their business and/or forming partnerships with other companies. Ron ended up with pensions from three different companies.
Ron worked on rocket software for these NASA space programs: Atlas rockets, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo lunar missions, Sky Lab, Space Shuttle, and finally the Space Station. His job was to ensure that the computer software did its job correctly. When Skylab had launched and there were some issues, Ron headed up the team to fix these issues so that the mission was not aborted. He and his team were successful after lots and lots of hours of tedious fine tooth combing of the computer programs.
Ron also was a marvelous teacher, not only of his profession but of tips for living a good life. Since his passing, many of his former colleagues have sent in email tributes relaying their experiences with him. They have told how his influence helped them be not only better engineers, but better people, parents, husbands and wives. Wow! He was awesome.
Ron decided to retire to the Texas Hill Country after several visits to the area -- his brother, Ray and sister-in-law Wilma had moved to the Comfort area several years previously. Ron built his house in the Falling Water community and soon started singing in the Gaddis Memorial United Methodist Church choir. It was there that he was to meet the love of his life, Comfort native Clara "Suzi" Avery. Long story short, they married October 18, 2008 and had a wonderful time. One of the best stories was how Suzi helped Ron to identify the stars. On one clear evening there was a lovely star in the heavens. Suzi proclaimed, "Oh, look, it's Venus, the Goddess of Love." Spaceman Ron snorted in derision, "No it's not. That's Mars". At that point Ron learned his first star lesson, Hill Country Style. As his Sweetie pointed out, anytime there was a beautiful star in the heavens it was Venus. Now, the couple compromised and developed Venus-Venus, Mars-Venus, Jupiter-Venus, and so on -- but always Venus.
Ron was preceded in death by: his parents, Ernest Augustus and Willie Virginia (Peal) Avery and niece, Laura Lynn Avery Young. He is survived by his beloved wife Suzi Avery of Comfort, Texas; children, Darryl Wayne Avery (Carol Sue Lotko) of Aurora, Colo.; Diana Lynn Avery Jones (Phillip Wayne) of Sherwood, Ark.; and granddaughters, Ann Michelle and Christin Lynn Treat; brother and sister-in-law, Raymond and Wilma Avery of DeLand, Fla.; brother-in-law and wife, Ralph and Pauline Morgan of Moore, Texas and their children, Kathy Morgan Cooper (Rob) of Wedgefield, S.C. and Christine Morgan Rhyne (Rick) of Tampa, Fla.; niece, Jean Kayat of New Smyrna Beach, Fla. and her children Elias, Bobby and Ashley Kayat; Laura Young's children, Jeff and Bree Young. Ron also leaves behind Aunt Ginger Loser of Hershey, Pa., his daddy's last surviving sister. Ron also has six mostly loving cats listed in order of age, not beauty or any other virtue they could get wind of and have a tussle over: Du-du Gus, Gabriel, Chloe Marie, Candy Cane, Sarah Lou, and Ace. Ron would want to point out that all of these sweeties are rescues. In fact, he live trapped Sarah Lou and Ace when they were about five weeks old and managed to (mostly) tame them. Pretty cool guy.
Last, but not least, Ron leaves behind a legion of friends that spans the globe, starting in Comfort and fanning out from there. "He had the sweetest, kindest most tender heart I have ever met, and he loved his family and friends with a passion rarely seen." -- Quote by Suzi Avery.
A "Tribute Celebration of His Life" will be held on Saturday, March 17th, 2018 at 11 a.m. in the Gaddis United Methodist Church in Comfort, Texas, with Rev. Carolyn McGuire officiating. Private family disposition of his cremains will take place at a later date.
Those who so desire may make memorial contributions in his memory to the, The Comfort Public Library; The Comfort Volunteer Fire Department, or to the charity of their choice. His family will greet friends Saturday morning prior to his Tribute Celebration. Arrangements are by the Schaetter Funeral Home. Expressions of sympathy may be sent at www.schaetter.com.
Get 24/7 Access. Subscribe Now.
ACCESS. ANYTIME. ANYWHERE.
We hope you've enjoyed your preview of ArkansasOnline.com.
You've now read the maximum number of stories available without a subscription.
Subscribe now for complete and uninterrupted access to the best local, state and national news.