Gary Lee Avery, 66

WATHA — Gary Lee Avery, 66, of Watha passed peacefully from his earthly life Thursday, August 12, 2021 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

He was born November 6, 1954 in Harnett County to Carl Roger Avery and Lois Dean Johnson Avery. In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Curtis and Myrtle Holder.

Gary is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Mary Lillie Holder Avery; children, Joy Avery Harman, Aubrey Curtis Avery (Susana), and Rhonda VanCleave (Robert); grandchildren, Jhoselinne Meza (Ethan), Michael “Mikey” Avery, Zachary Harman, Elizabeth Harman, and Adelyn Harman; great grandchildren, Noah Meza and Elena Meza; sister, Linda Sue Moore (Phil); brothers, Roger Avery, Gilbert Avery, Bobby Avery, and Glenn Avery (Sheila), and many nieces and nephews.

Currently, Gary was an associate pastor of Cora’s Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church. Gary has been God’s servant as pastor of Westbrook Grove, Blackmans Grove, Carroll Street, Open Door, First Magnolia, Oakdale, Watha and Roseboro PFWB Churches.  During Gary’s life of God’s work, he ministered in El Salvador and Nicaragua in addition to the six and one half years he and his family spent in Guatemala as missionaries.

Gary had a smile that literally  stretched around the world as was evidenced by his mission work in foreign lands. Gary, Mary Lillie, and their children influenced many lives through their life’s mission work. Gary was a gentle giant, soft spoken with an iron will to spread the word of Jesus. He loved and served his Lord, his family, and was a loyal friend to many.

There will be a walk thru viewing 3 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, August 15, 2021 at Quinn McGowen Funeral Home in Burgaw as Gary is lying in state.

Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 21, 2021 at Cora’s Grove Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church. Pastor Randy Little, Pastor Baris Lanier, General Superintendent of PFWB Churches Randy Carter, and son, Aubrey Avery will conduct the service. Following the service, the family will be on the side of parking lot exit drive to wave or hear words of encouragement from open car windows.   

Social distancing and mask are required at all times. Private burial will be at Riverview Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers and in memory and honor of Gary Avery, please consider a donation to Cora’s Grove PFWB Church, 4875 Cora’s Grove Road, Watha 28478 or Crusader Youth Camp, 1609 Bud Hawkins Road, Dunn, NC 28334

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family by selecting Tribute Wall.  A service of Quinn-McGowen Funeral Home Burgaw Chapel.

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