John Read Avery, 1950—2005

John Avery

From John’s obituary in the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber:

“John Read Avery, formerly of Vashon Island, died April 23, 2005, of a traumatic head injury. He was 55 years old.

Mr. Avery was born Jan. 13, 1950, in Seattle, to John MacGlacian Avery and Josephine Read Avery. His mother and a younger brother, William Franklin Avery, died earlier.

Survivors include his father, John Avery, sister Mary MacClellan, niece Jennifer Nichols, and numerous cousins, extended family, and friends.

Mr. Avery grew up in North Seattle, and graduated from Lincoln High School. He spent some of his adult years on Vashon Island.”

John’s Leaf is at University Temple United Methodist Church.  If you have memories to share, please post a comment.

Featured Leaf April 2019


  • Jim Rupp

    John was an excellent trumpet player. Not just good, but verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry good! He was always first chair in school bands and orchestras, and was a key member of the then-renowned Thunderbirds Drum and Bugle Corps. I attended school with John from kindergarten into high school (Daniel Bagley Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Junior High, and Lincoln High). Although we had a different circle of friends as our school years progressed, I always loved the fact that we remained friends, probably because we grew up together in those early years. John and I both loved to watch professional wrestling, back in the days when they tried to make it look real and didn’t spend so much time on creating a circus atmosphere, as they do today. One wrestler–George “Catalina” Drake–had a signature move called the Irish Flip, where he would take his opponent by the hand, spin his arm a certain way, and the opponent would do a somersault onto his back. We were both fascinated by that move, to the point that we would always do it. Since I was much smaller than John, I was the flipper, and John was the flippee. He was such a good sport in letting me be the one left standing. Except, one day, out on the front lawn of Daniel Bagley Elementary, he decided to surprise me and stand his ground. So, when I took his hand and tried to flip him, he simply stood there. I was stunned! I always thought it was automatic–when you twist the arm a certain way, the other guy always flips. We both had a good laugh–I think that was probably the first time we were willing to acknowledge that, just maybe, professional wrestling wasn’t all on the up-and-up!

  • Marilyn Wirtz

    I have thought about John off and on all my life— he was an impressive guy, even to a 7th grader at Thompson Jr High! I was an admirer “from a distance”, and now find this news of his passing as sad, and with a sense of loss! He was a good person, and I hope he found joy in life– God rest his soul.
    — thanks for the story from Jim Rupp. Loved the wrestling scenario!!

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