Lilian Hitchens Avery, age 97, died peacefully on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2010, surrounded by family in her home in Bozeman. She was born on August 6, 1913, in Sale, England, and enjoyed a happy childhood and worked as a stenographer through World War II.
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She met Lt. Colonel Walter R. Avery, a decorated World War I and World War II aviator, and secured passage on the Queen Elizabeth to New York to marry him in 1946. They raised three children on Long Island, N.Y., and in Boca Raton, Fla.
She wrote the society column for the Boca Raton News and loved the warm weather, beaches and tennis she found there. Her yard was one of the first to employ zeriscape, using local flora in natural settings and gardeners came to her for cuttings and ideas.
She was also interested in finance and was an avid investor in the stock market for most of her life. She wrote voluminous letters which will be treasured by her family and was quick to laugh at any humor she heard until her last days. She declared she couldn't think of anything she would change about her life.
"It was pretty easy!" she smiled. "Life is great as long as you have it."
She enjoyed playing piano until she was 95. Music was dear to her, as well as her children, and at the age of 97 she could still sing "Night and Day" by Cole Porter with gusto.
Lilian is survived by her three children, Paul Avery, of San Diego; Stephen Avery of Jacksonville, Fla.; Kathryn Jensen of Bozeman; and her grandsons, Aaron Jensen, of Denver; and Adam Avery of Jacksonville, Fla.
A private celebration of her life will be held in Bozeman in the New Year.
Donations in her memory can be made to Bozeman Deaconess Foundation with a notation for Hospice, 931 Highland Blvd. Suite 3200, Bozeman, 59715.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 2, 2011