Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Dennis Avery always put others needs and wants first.
A man who loved his family, travel, athletics and adventure, Dennis often recounted stories of his childhood. His parents, R. Stanton and Dorothy Avery, were very busy growing their label company, Avery Dennison. However, their spontaneous family trips left lasting impressions on Dennis. Throughout his life he continued to travel the world and even lived in Germany in his 20s.
Dennis was a highly educated man. He attended Monrovia Duarte High School where he played varsity basketball. He earned his BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his JD from Cal Western School of Law, his LLB from Trinity Hall at Cambridge University, and his MBA from Pepperdine University. He would continue his connections to his schools, making generous donations to Cal Western and Cambridge.
His love for adventure led him to learn to fly at the age of 15. For the earlier part of his life, he enjoyed surfing, riding his motorcycle, running half marathons, and building Ham radios. He continued to travel the world in the latter part of his life, but he always remembered to correspond with those he cared about and express gratitude to those who helped him along the way in his life.
His professional life was also varied. He worked in West Berlin on the British Railway. He had a contractor and real estate license, working in home building. He was the Chief of the San Diego City Attorney's Consumer Fraud Division. He served as the Dean of Students at Cal Western School of Law in the 1980s. He also served on numerous boards of non-profit organizations, including the Avery Dennison Board of Directors.
Everyone who knew him recounts stories of how he loved to perform magic tricks for children and that he had a great sense of humor. No matter who you were, he always made one feel as if you were the most important person to him. His smile and presence would light up a room. He was also generous, donating time and money to causes and organizations locally in San Diego, Borrego, and internationally. He was a great friend to the San Diego Chinese community, volunteering his time to Chinese community events and providing money to many Chinese community organizations. In Borrego, he helped build a skate park and most notably erected the metal animals throughout his land he called Galleta Meadows. Internationally, some of his donations included support for AID's orphanages in South Africa, a library for a town in Honduras, clean drinking water for villages in South America, and helping send hundreds of wheelchairs for the disabled and training midwives in remote villages in Tibet.
Dennis passed away in Sharp Memorial Hospital from cardiac arrest and multiple organ failure. He was surrounded by his wife, children and other family and friends.
Dennis is survived by his wife, Sally; siblings, Judy and Russell; children, Halina, Christopher, Sara, and Theodore; step daughter, Natasha; and two grandchildren, Halina and Kyler.
The funeral will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church located in Hillcrest on August 4, 2012, at 9am.
Donations can be made to Chinese Service Center of San Diego or to the Chinese School of San Diego. Please mail donations to 5075 Ruffin Road, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92123.