Obituaries » RICHARD C. AVERY

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February 28, 2019

Burial Date August 15, 2019

Funeral Home Athy Memorial Home

Place of Service First Congregational Church, Worcester

Section Garden of Cross Lot Number: 116Grave Number: 3

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     Richard C. Avery, 83, of Worcester died Thursday, February 28, 2019, peacefully at his home.

Richard leaves his wife of 59 years, Shirley Anne (Prouty) Avery of Hardwick, Massachusetts; four children, Donna Avery of Westborough, Daniel Avery and his fiancée Nina Carter McKee of Washington, Va., Deborah Avery Boucher and her husband Paul of Lancaster, and Diann Daly of West Boylston; 10 grandchildren, Caitlyn, Alison, Alexander, Lauren, Joshua, Lily, Matthew, Elizabeth, Jack, and Daniel; and several nieces and nephews. His sister Charlotte Avery Hedberg died in 1971.

Richard was born in Worcester, son of Charles and Charlotte (McPadden) Avery. He lived in Worcester his entire life.

After graduating from North High School, he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.

Richard had a long career with the New England Telephone Co. He was a lineman and worked 44 years for the phone companies, retiring in 1999.

He worked with the Crowley family at the Wachusett Mountain ski area for decades. In the 1970s, he helped bring night skiing to the mountain, personally climbing the trees and poles at the ski area and installing the lighting there himself, thereafter becoming well-known throughout the area as “The Pole King” or just “The King.” The lights at the ski area were dimmed this weekend in his honor.

Richard was a devotee of music, theater, poetry and the arts of all types. He loved seeing the Boston Ballet with his children and grandchildren, and enjoyed more contemporary fare as well. Before his passing, he had decided to see Jimmy Buffett once again in concert, and enjoyed country, bluegrass and classical music. He was particularly inspired by the transcendentalist writings of Henry David Thoreau and the New England-based poetry of Robert Frost.

He delighted in the great outdoors and was an accomplished bicyclist, hiker and skier. He was a member of the Seven Hills Wheelman Bicycle Club and created his annual “Kings Ride,” a grueling bicycle race around the hills surrounding the Quabbin Reservoir. Twice, he biked across the United States. He hiked, mountain climbed and skied throughout the United States and Europe.

Richard was devoted to his family, especially his grandchildren. He vacationed with family on the beaches of Ocean Park, Maine, and the mountains of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, and he often visited Narragansett and the surrounding beaches in Rhode Island.

Richard had a relentlessly optimistic outlook on life, and his well-known – – and countless lesser-known – – acts of kindness touched many lives throughout the Worcester area. He urged all around him to enjoy every day to the fullest and, most importantly, to embrace the wonderment of the world and its people. At the same time, he refused to take any of life’s challenges, or humankind’s foibles, too seriously, regularly invoking – – or paraphrasing – – his favorite Shakespearean observation that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

Calling hours will be held Thursday, March 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester. There will be a funeral service Friday, March 8, at 11:00 a.m. in the First Congregational Church, 1070 Pleasant St., Worcester. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggests to the Genesis Club, 274 Lincoln St., Worcester, MA 01605.

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