Tribune Recorder Leader

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James L. Avery, DDS

TRAVERSE CITY – James L. Avery, DDS, 90, of Traverse City, was born July 6, 1924 in Torrance, California to Dallas and Lillian Avery.
He graduated in 1942 from Capac High School.
In 1942, he enlisted in the Army reserve at Michigan State. At the end of the first year he entered the Navy V-12 training program and served one year. He was accepted to Loyola University School of Oral Surgery where he spent four years and received his Doctor of Oral Surgery.
On December 2, 1944 Jim married Geneva Gowen at the German Lutheran Church in Capac, Mi. They enjoyed 66 years of marriage together.
Jim served in the Marines in San Diego for a year as a naval dentist. After serving on board an aircraft carrier for nine months, he started his private practice in Detroit. After one year he moved his practice to Marlette, Mi. He practiced dentistry there for 21 years before moving in with his two brothers in their dental practice in Almont, MI. He then started his own practice in Lapeer, Mi. Before he left Marlette, Jim earned his private pilot’s license and helped to purchase land that later became the Marlette Industrial Airport with three runways and instrument accommodations. Jim also enjoyed golfing. The Averys spent summers at their cottage in Arcadia on Lake Michigan. Jim loved projects. He, along with his son, Mark, converted a 1954 greyhound bus into a motor home and he and Geneva traveled the country in it. Jim retired in 1991 and moved to Florida and built a retirement home. Upon returning to Michigan in 2010 they settled in Traverse City at the Bay Ridge Retirement Community to be near family.
Dr. Avery is survived by his children, Alan (Mary) Avery of Atlanta, Anita (Tom) Fisher of Lapeer and Mark (Mary) Avery of Traverse City; seven grandchildren, Todd (Wendy) Fisher, Julie (Shane) Bern, David (Crystal) Fisher, Amy (Andrew) Durden, April (Justin) Brown, Alex (Sara) Avery and Spencer Avery; seven great-grandchildren, Reece, Emily, Logan, Amelia, Breckyn, Tallulah, Kadence and Molly. He is also survived by one brother, Dr. Charles Avery.
Dr. Avery was preceded in death by parents, Dallas and Lillian; his wife, Geneva Avery, in 2011; and three brothers, Richard Frances, Allison Gurley and Dallas Bath, Jr.
The family would like to thank the staff at Bay Ridge Assisted Living Center and the Hospice of Michigan for the exceptional care given to Jim.
Please direct memorials to Hospice of Michigan, 10850 E. Traverse Hwy, Traverse City, Michigan 49684.
Private family services will be held. Please visit Jim’s webpage at to sign the guest book, share a message and more. The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City.

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