Landscapes 11

Ruth (Pritchard) Avery

August 31, 1918 ~ January 11, 2020 (age 101)


On January 11, Ruth Avery, nee Pritchard, entered into her eternal rest with a smile on her face, a song in her heart and a spring in her step.

Ruth was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband Robert Avery.  Married for 55 years “her Robert” departed her side in 1997.  She is survived by her four children, Craig Avery (Sue Burton), Pamela Forwood, Michael Avery (Christine) and Susan Biddle (Jeff).  She was blessed with 8 grandchildren:  Bridget Middleton (Jason), Andrew Avery (Megan), Robert Avery, Troy Holmes, Keith Holmes, Katherine Avery, William Avery, Derek Biddle (Brittany) and two great grandchildren, Nolan and Mia Middleton, plus numerous nieces and nephews. A contented member of the Porter Hills Village community, she leaves behind many friends, both residents and staff.

Possessing an incredible zest for life, she especially enjoyed her 100th birthday which was celebrated in 2018 with a party attended by family and close friends.  Rarely seen without a smile on her face she was a joy to those around her.

Born on the family farm on the outskirts of Saranac, Michigan, Ruth enjoyed an idyllic childhood.  Romping in the fields and playing in the hay lofts with her faithful canine pet, Coolie, she enjoyed rural life with her parents, Henry and Watie Pritchard, older sister, Mildred (Acker) and maternal grandfather, Samuel Pike.  Despite the tough economic times of the Great Depression, the prosperous family farm supplied their needs and Ruth graduated from Saranac High School in 1936.   She entered Butterworth Nursing School in 1937, graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1940.   Married in 1942 in Wichita Falls, Texas she followed her Army Air Force husband from base to base until he received orders for overseas duty, serving in Italy with the 15th Air Force during WWII.  After the war they settled in Grand Rapids after a brief residence in Petoskey.  In 1972 Robert and Ruth built their dream home on the shores of Lake Michigan in West Olive where they began their retirement watching the glorious sunsets. And after 18 wonderful years residing at Royal Park Place in Zeeland she moved to Porter Hills Village in 2017.  Ruth enjoyed a long and blissful life and was a blessing to those whose lives she touched.  She will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered.

To honor this wonderful woman and a life well-lived please take a moment to toast her memory in some loving way: hold your family close, stroll along the shore of Lake Michigan, drink in nature on a bike ride when the weather's right, sing a song aloud for the pure joy of it…you get the idea.

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