On Tuesday, March 25, 2003, age 78 of Squirrel Hill; beloved husband of Mineko Sasahara Avery; devoted father of Robin Avery of Cleveland, OH and Christopher Avery of Cambridge, MA; loving grandfather of Nathan and Daniel Lauer, both of Cleveland, OH; and dear brother of Marjorie Bakkila of Pittsburgh, PA and the late Dorothy Clark of LaJolla, CA. He served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII and in Korea and was discharged as a Captain. Dr. Avery graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in Economics and a M.A. in Sociology. He completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at Harvard University with the renowned Talcott Parsons. He joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh and taught in the Department of Sociology for 34 years. Upon his retirement, the Department of Sociology created the Robert W. Avery Award to honor the outstanding senior sociology major chosen annually by the faculty. This was in recognition of Dr. Avery's dedication to teaching and mentoring his students and for his status as a respected and revered professor. Dr. Avery was honored as a "Great Professor" at a University of Pittsburgh convocation in 1966. He was a visiting professor in Guangzhou, China, where he was invited to help re-establish sociology as a discipline after the end of the Cultural Revolution. He taught for a year at the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and drew many students from around the world. Friends may call Friday from 10 AM until time of service at H. SAMSON, INC. 537 N. Neville Street, Oakland, where funeral service will be held Friday at 11 AM. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial contributions be made to the Robert W. Avery Award Fund, Department of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh, Institutional Advancement, 200 S. Craig St., 500 Craig Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.
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