John Avery, 1933-2019


Last updated 8/27/2019 at 4:32pm

John Avery

John C. Avery, 86, of Lake Wales, passed away Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019 at his residence. He was born in Halstead, PA on August 7, 1933 to Anne K. (Cassell) Avery and Charles W. Avery. He married his wife Toni Vakoff on June 12, 1954 and they were married for 58 years.

He was raised in Brooklyn, New York, graduated from La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, New York and joined the Army in 1952. While in the Army he served in the Korean and Vietnam war, retired in 1973 as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Adjutant General's Corps.

After his military retirement he received his Master's Degree from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. in Health Care Administration. He and his family moved to Miami, Florida in 1974 where he was a hospital adminstrator at Jackson Memorial Hospital and University of Miami School of Medicine and retired in 1997.

He was very active in the Catholic church and became an ordained Deacon in Miami, Florida in 1993. He was also a Spiritual Advisor, Eucharistic Minister. A member of the Franciscans and belonged to Holy Spirit Catholic Church of Lake Wales.

While a resident of Water's Edge he enjoyed playing Bunco, Pinochle and lead the chair exercises.

He was preceded in death by his wife Toni V. Avery, son-in-law Peter Lazzari, mother Anne K. Avery, aunt Marie Cassell and father Charles Avery. Survivors include his daughter Anne Avery Lazzari of Lake Wales, son Jonathan C. Avery of Orlando, and grandsons Hunter A. Lazzari and Austin D. Lazzari.

Funeral services and mass with Bishop John Noonan, Father Aquino and Father David Vargas as celebrants will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lake Wales. Interment will follow at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his honor to "Faith Formations at Holy Spirit Catholic Church."


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