Janet Avery Memorial Fund
Rev. Janet Lynne Avery died peacefully on July 13, 2018 at 12:30 PM EST. Her health had taken a sudden bad turn and she went into the hospital on very short notice. We are simply seeking funds to help pay for a cremation, and avoid the alternative of the state burying her in an unmarked grave. We respect her too much for that.
Janet Lynne Avery, born December 1, 1945 in Rochester, NY, died on July 13, 2018 in Petersburg, VA, at 72 years of age.
Some people walk into our lives, Janet always came at a trot. Regardless, those who knew her as a friend were blessed. She gifted so many people with her generosity, love, and a slew of very corny jokes.
She worked as an IT Manager and a Software Development Manager at several companies in California, including NCR, Basic Four, and PacTel. Janet volunteered for Christopher Street West in Los Angeles in 1988 and decided Orange County, California needed it's own Gay Pride Festival. She organized the 1st Orange County Cultural Pride Festival held in Santa Ana in 1989, guiding it from an idea into a reality. They honored Janet as the founding President the next year by creating the Janet Avery Award to recognize a volunteer who provided an outstanding contribution to Orange County Cultural Pride celebration. This Pride festival is still being held in Orange County.
Janet was ordained as a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church in 2006, her faith in God being a large part of her life. At one point in time or another Janet worked with as an Interim Pastor, Volunteer Clergy, and/or was an active member of MCC Open Door, MCC of the Hudson Valley, MCC Fredericksburg, MCC of Washington DC, and MCC Richmond. She provided security support and service to many MCC events, regionally and denominationally, including the Installation Service of the denomination’s second Moderator, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, held at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, in October 2011.
She moved from Maryland to Petersburg, VA when she retired in 2015, and became active in many local organizations, among them, the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County & Beyond, and Side By Side (formerly ROSMY), an organization dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia's LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish. Janet went there every week to lend her energy, experience and love to the youth of the organization, and the youth there loved her sass, stories, and the care she showed to each and every one of them. Her presence will be greatly missed by Side by Side youth and staff.
Janet was a force of nature. The force could be a soft wind, and other times, a tornado that blew some people away. She lived her life the way she wanted, mostly being that soft wind that wanted to teach others about life, to be comfortable with ourselves, and to help whenever she could. But the tornado was too much when it came for some people and that soft wind did not show itself in time to save many relationships. Janet wasn't perfect, just someone like all of us, but with a little extra push and pull in her.
At 12:30 pm on July 13 in Petersburg, VA, a gentle breeze blew in carrying Janet into her Mother's arms, a place where she always found the most peace.