Thomas M. Avery, beloved friend & partner of nearly 37 years and husband of nearly 25 years to Carole A. McGee, died Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ, of congestive heart failure after a long illness. He was 69 years old. As an Adjunct Professor, Tom was highly respected and well-loved by his colleagues and students at both the New York City College of Technology ("CityTech") and St. John's University, where he taught for many years. He was also a founding member of the Libertarian Party of New York. In 1974, Tom ran for the position of Comptroller in New York City on the Libertarian Party ticket, garnering a respectable several thousand votes.
After earning his PhD in Philosophy from CUNY Graduate Center, Tom taught Philosophy, Logic and Ethics. He was well-liked and known for his teaching skills by incorporating humor into what was often thought of by students as a stiflingly dull and boring topic. Tom engaged students and made them think. At CityTech and St. John's, his students regularly recommended his classes and rated Tom as "AWESOME" on the www.ratemyprofessor.com
At CityTech, students commented:
"Thanks to him I think clearly about everything I encounter and question…things critically. He is funny!"
"…thought it would be boring turned out to be a good class…makes the class fun with his debates about readings"
"Prof. Avery makes it a lot of fun and usually plays the devil's advocate. Would take him again for sure!"
"Great professor, very understanding and hilarious…Just a really cool person in general. Also he's very well read."
"Was the class I looked forward to going to the most this semester. Great professor, encourages debates/opinions."
"Prof. Avery is as good as it gets when it comes to being knowledgeable of topic material, igniting the students' ability to think critically and is able to tell you the truth while making you laugh."
"Professor Avery is one of the nicest, caring, generous professors in City Tech."
Students at St. John's similarly appreciated his classes:
"Philosophy is boring. But Avery is a hilarious teacher who actually makes it easy-ish to learn, and he spends lots of time helping people understand what he teaches…Awesome teacher."
"After taking Dr. Avery, it changed my views of philosophy being a boring class."
Tom is survived not only by students who loved him, but by his wife, Carole A. McGee of Brooklyn, NY; his sister Patricia of New York City; his sister Virginia and brother-in-law Michael, of Henderson, NV; his brother Daniel and sister-in-law Mary of Whitehouse Station, NJ; his brother James and sister-in-law Susie of Henderson, NV; Carole's family in Asheville, NC and a collection of nieces, nephews, grandnephews & grandnieces from around the country, all of whom loved him dearly.
A memorial service celebrating Tom's life will be held at Noon on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Hilton Brooklyn New York.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital