Mr. William Eugene Avery, 77, of 68 W. 11th Street, died Friday, May 3, 2013, in Buffalo General Hospital. He was better known as "Billy Gene" or "Bill," by close friends and family.
He was born in Logan, W.Va., on May 24, 1935, the son of Herbert Benson Avery (deceased) and "Katie" Mildred Leeper Avery Cunningham. Dad carried the proud distinction of being the firstborn grandchild of both the Leeper and Avery families. His family moved to Jamestown, N.Y., when he was very young, and this is the only place he called home. He was known for his sense of humor, large stature and "big" laugh. These characteristics, along with the fact that he had a large family, many friendships and a long history in this area made him a strong presence in the community. He was especially known for quip-ping instant homemade jokes, which still bring bursts of laughter to his family. When he made a statement, he often ended it with "period," because after he spoke, there was "nothing else to be said." He loved life and people and was unforgettable to those who had ever come to know him.
He attended Jamestown Public Schools and was an accomplished basketball player.
He was a veteran of the US Air Force, trained as a jet aircraft mechanic, leaving high school, to help support his mother and send his sister to nursing school, after his father be-came ill.
A hard worker, he was employed by the City of Jamestown Sanitation Department for more than 20 years, however, his true love was buying, selling and collecting antiques. He was known for "shopping" at garage sales the day be-fore they started.
He was a member of the former Chadakoin Lodge 718 International Benevolent Protected Order of Elks.
He enjoyed testing his knowledge watching (and winning) Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
Surviving are his mother, Katie Cunningham, a sister, Maxine Sykes, both of Parker, Colo.; nine children: Alexis Avery of Atlanta, Ga., Lori (Ray) Avery-Magras of Jonesboro, Ga., Tammy Knight of Webster, N.Y., Travis (Kimberly) Knight, Torry Knight, Shawn (Jennifer) Avery and Tara Avery, all of Jamestown, Audra (Phillip) Avery-Crenshaw of Waxahachie, Texas, and Shannon Avery-Moore of Marietta, Ga.; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a great-great grandchild; three nephews; two aunts; great nieces and nephews, many, many cousins, friends, and a special companion for 29 years, Gail "Gayleymay" Mitchell.
Besides his father, he was predeceased by his oldest son, Daryl, in 2003, whom he missed every day.
The family wishes to ex-tend special thanks for the care and compassion of Dr. Butsch, Dr. Diadato, Dr. Joude, Dr. "Gun," Dr. Goodenough, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Saddiqui of Buffalo General Hospital. Also, for the diligent, consistent, support of his surviving former wife, and mother of his children, Della Hough, during Mr. Avery's long hospitalization.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Lind Funeral Home. Curtis Daniels, longtime friend, will officiate.
Burial will be in Soldier's Circle of Lake View Cemetery.
Friends will be received at Lind's from 4-6 p.m. Thursday and for one hour prior to the service Friday.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to a charity of choice.
You may light a candle in remembrance of William at www.lindfuneralhome.com.