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Obituaries » Charles N. VanAvery

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December 10, 1930 - January 11, 2021

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Charlie’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or to an animal welfare charity of one's choice.  

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Charles Nelson Van Avery, 90, passed away peacefully at Alamo Nursing Home in Plainwell after a long illness. Born in Kalamazoo on 12/10/1930, Charlie attended Kalamazoo College from 1949-1951, and served in the Army from 1951-1953. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1960 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He worked as an engineer for IBM from 1961-1987, at facilities in Lexington, KY, Austin, TX, Burlington, VT, and Poughkeepsie, NY. After leaving IBM, he did engineering work at several firms in Syracuse and Buffalo, NY, and retired in 1994 from FEMA, Inc. in Portage. Charlie enjoyed golf, downhill skiing, and cross-stitch, and was fascinated by aviation. He was a skilled contract bridge player and competed in regional bridge tournaments. His most cherished hobby was choral singing. He loved operatic tenors and was a member of multiple opera choruses over the years. His singing will be remembered by all who knew him. He loved animals and was accompanied by numerous dogs and cats throughout his life, with which he frequently conversed.

Charlie was predeceased by his parents Robert Van Avery and Margaret Van Avery, both of Kalamazoo, brothers Robert Van Avery Jr. and James Van Avery, and sister Beverly Hatfield of Climax. He is survived by his beloved Mary Peoples of Marcellus, MI, children Glenn Van Avery of Kansas City, MO, Keitha Pollutro of Harwinton, CT, David Van Avery of Syracuse, NY and Giulia Van Avery of Skaneateles, NY. His ashes will be spread at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Richland.