On Aug. 31, 2000, a bright star entered our world lighting up skies of all who came to know him. Avery Michael Phillip Lair was born in Bozeman, the son of Katlyn Lair and Scott Planalp. Avery suffered a tragic accident and after courageous and excellent care passed away at Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah, where he succumbed to those injuries on July 23, 2009. His loving family was at his side. Avery was a giving child and as a donor at Children's Hospital he gave life to at least six other children that weekend.
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After Grandmother Megan passed away, Katlyn and Avery moved to Bozeman in 2004 where he was united as a family with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Avery was a Whittier kid starting as a kindergartner in 2005. Avery blossomed with his family and at school. From a member of the Christmas choir, he grew into the role of John Bozeman in this year's third-grade history of our city.
While the days were filled with school and homework, the evenings were filled with wrestling, soccer, football and baseball. Avery enjoyed and excelled at all sports. He won numerous medals at wrestling competitions in the state of Montana and national competitions in Omaha, Neb., and Reno, Nev.
However, what he achieved was only because of who he was. He was an understanding and caring person who trusted people. As a result of the love he received, he became confident and self-assured knowing that anything was possible. He understood God wanted him to have more fun than anyone else had ever had.
Avery was proud not of what he did but who he was. He was competitive yet respectful. His love was so deep and strong it could have filled 80 years of life. He never held back and gave rather than kept.
The little children loved him sensing his caring was their happiness.
He had endless energy. He loved hunting, camping, teaching Grandpa Bob where to plant trees and marigolds correctly, where to find lost golf balls and that dinosaurs truly exist. He understood Aunt Christine's complete love whose eyes mirrored the "smirk" that was singularly Avery.
He was a breath of fresh air in our lives. For grandma, he reminded her of dirt, mud and the smell of little boys. For grandfathers, how to throw better, run faster and again enjoy ice cream. For aunts and uncles without children, a boy who was old enough to joke with and young enough to enjoy his innocence. To those with children, how good it will be to have children like Avery. To parents, all of the above and a whole lot more. Compassion is a word rarely used to describe an 8-year-old boy, however it epitomized Avery's approach to life. He was beautiful and looked at everything, except vegetables, in that way. He wanted to be as gregarious and wild as his Grandpa Mike and as smart and considerate as Grandpa Bob.
He had a complete love of a real football team, the Minnesota Vikings.
He could charm a free "maddacoti" dinner out of Ferraro's and walk away with the tip.
He made every person he touched better simply because his touch was the touch of an angel.
His spirit brought the DeDycker and Planalp families together. His energy persisted in keeping them together.
This bright star now is up in the heavens each night in the arms of God, Grandma Megan and Great-grandfather Jess Lair.
A spirit that large with the energy of a star needed a clan to raise him; parents, Katlyn Lair DeDycker, Jimmy DeDycker and Scott Planalp; sister and brothers, Mackinzie DeDycker, Dylan DeDycker and Phillip Howard; grandpa, Bob and Nancy Planalp; grandma, Barb and grandpa, Ron Williams; grandpa, Michael Lair; aunt, Christine Planalp and uncle, Randy Warner; aunt and uncle, Danielle and Cody Schrader; aunt and uncle, Ashley and Kevin Planalp; uncle, Mathew Planalp; and uncle, Robert Lair.
Donations may be made to the Avery Lair Memorial Wrestling Scholarship Fund. Please send donations to Big Sky Western Bank, 4150 Valley Commons Drive, Bozeman, MT 59718.
Avery's family requests your attendance at his memorial service at 1 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Resurrection Parish, 1725 S. 11th Ave., Bozeman. A thanksgiving after the service will be held at Bozeman Senior High School cafeteria, oval entrance off West Main Street and 11th Street, Bozeman.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from July 29 to July 31, 2009