Fr. Richard Avery, 86, died peacefully on Sunday, April 19, at his home in Corsicana, Texas. He leaves his wife of 66 years, Marjorie Wygant Avery; his son, Bart Avery and his wife, Sandra, of Palmdale, California; a second son, Stephen Avery and his wife, Annie who live in Corsicana; five grandchildren and many friends.
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Born in Yuma, Arizona, Fr. Avery grew up along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, north of San Diego. As a boy he spent long, happy days at Laguna Beach collecting soda pop bottles to redeem for a few pennies to spend at the candy store near the family home.
The family later moved to Escondido, California, where Avery graduated from high school in 1951. He attended Palomar College and San Diego State University, where he graduated first in his class. In 1953 he married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Wygant, and the couple moved to Dallas, Texas. He attended Perkins School of Theology at SMU, where he prepared for a life of Christian ministry. Later the couple moved to Evanston, Illinois where he completed further study at Seabury-Western Episcopal seminary. He was soon ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church and served in parishes in San Diego, the San Fernando Valley, and Orange County. He was instrumental in founding the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in La Mirada, California.
Later years brought the Averys to Corsicana, Texas, where son Steve had moved his family. Fr. Avery joined the staff of St John's Episcopal Church and had served there as long as he was able. The Averys have loved Corsicana, and have felt at home among its many friendly people. Whether it was attending plays at the Warehouse Theater, exploring the historical museum out at Navarro College or just enjoying an ice cream cone on a walk downtown, Corsicana has been a blessed home to Fr. Avery and his wife and family. He loved it here and would want the community to know what a treasure this place is.
Fr. Avery is remembered as one who had a kind word for everyone and a joke for every occasion.
The family will have a private memorial mass on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at St. John’s Episcopal Church with Father Edward Monk officiating. There will be live streaming of the service at https://youtu.be/2ebelsRmhN4 .