Rev. Richard Kinsey Avery
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RICHARD KINSEY AVERY The Rev. Richard Kinsey Avery, age 85, died on Sunday, March 15, 2020 in Santa Fe, NM. A resident of Santa Fe since his retirement in 2000, he previously served for forty years as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jervis, New York. He was also a composer, collaborating with Donald Marsh on both words and music in the writing of more than 150 published carols, hymns, and anthems such as "We Are the Church"; founding the publishing company Proclamation Productions with Donald Marsh in 1967. Hope Publishing Company, a large Christian publisher in Illinois, took over the sales of their works in later years. He and Donald Marsh also led conference and church assemblies in new forms of worship and music in virtually all 50 states, starting in the late 1960's and continuing into the 21st century. These events include 30 years of summer seminars at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM. In Port Jervis, a small city 70 miles northwest of NYC, Pastor Avery was a founder of a ministry to poor people called the Hope Center, and a member and chairman of the Board of Directors of Mercy Community Hospital. Under his pastoral leadership, the Presbyterian Church (FPCPJ) was a prominent center for creative forms of worship, music, and drama, providing many concerts and theatrical events for the community. In Santa Fe, Richard Avery was a resident of the Plaza del Monte retirement community. He was also very involved in the life of the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, where he served as music leader. In 2003 he founded a small magazine, Santa Fe Theologians, and served as its editor and later as the manager of Santa Fe Theologian Institutes, public forums on contemporary issues. He was also a member of the World Affairs Forum, the Council on International Relations, the Santa Fe Symposium, and the Coro de Camara chorale ensemble. Richard Avery was born in the Central Valley of California in 1934, the son of Chester and Rose Bradford Avery. He attended schools in the small town of Exeter, CA, where he and his family were active participants in the First Presbyterian Church. At the age of 14, at a Presbyterian youth conference, he decided to be a Christian minister and never turned from that decision. He attended the University of Redlands in southern California, where he was deeply influenced by participation in the University Choir and by daily life among a group of Christian friends, fellow students also struggling with the challenge of discipleship to Jesus in the modern world. Following his university graduation, Richard Avery attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is survived by close friends Clyde Tomlin, Cindy Piatt, Betty Collins, other friends and neighbors in Santa Fe and Port Jervis, New York; his nephew Brad Wilcox and wife Tricia, their son Sam Wilcox of Fresno, CA and son Kevin Dunn, his wife Taylor and daughter Kendahl of Woodland, CA; his niece Carol Wilcox Bazemore and her husband Ed Bazemore of Raleigh, NC. In memory of Pastor Avery, contributions may be made to Ghost Ranch Conference Center in Abiquiu, NM, to the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jervis, NY, to Westminster Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe, NM, or to Amnesty International. In light of the current pandemic, a memorial service is pending. "Serving families for over 50 years" Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 984-8600 Please sign our guestbook for the family at:

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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican from Mar. 20 to Mar. 22, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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18 entries
June 9, 2021
We sang Dick Avery and Don Marsh's music, and they held a workshop, at the First Presbyterian Church when I was growing up in Glens Falls, NY. Their influence broadened my understanding of faith and spiritual life. I was happy to get to know Dick and Don a little when they moved to Santa Fe. They both made so many people's lives better, and their music is a lasting legacy to the love they gave to the world.
Bonney Hughes
March 14, 2021
R.I.P...Pastor Avery...continue to worship GOD up in heaven. Here is my sister Debbie. U did her funeral service for my mom.U were the greatest...
Barbara A Green
March 14, 2021
Pastor Avery. Was the pastor who did my sisters service at her funeral. Debbie was only 13 when she died..Pastor Avery was so good at his service he didn't even have to look in the bible.who new the bible word for word front to back...He also was the pastor who did the marriage service of my aunt and uncle..R.I.P. .u will be missed for ever but never forgotten..
Barbara A Green
September 4, 2020
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Leonard B Bjorkman
April 5, 2020
Rest In Peace Rev. Avery. Enjoy your reunion with my grandparents
Gertrude and Ed Worzel. You were always a great friend.
Mary Lou Hack
March 31, 2020
Barbara Green
March 31, 2020
I am sadened to hear of your passing. You was a very good REV.I remember you very well.I was 11 years old when you did the funeral service for my sister Debbie Pitt in Gray Parker Funeral home.In Port Jervis.We also atteneded your church before this.she died in 1984.You also married my aunt and unlce at their wedding in your church in Port Jervis.
Please rest in peace and continue serving god up in heaven to my mom who is also in heaven now.
Barbara Green
March 31, 2020
I was sent to Rev, Averys church via a mumbled invitation of a teenager to attend his confirmation, After the first service at First Presbyterian in Port Jervis, NY, church and worship were never the same for me, He helped me see God in wider and deeper dimensions, as more loving and forgiving, in more intense and brighter colors and in more lovely art and music, I watched in awe as he treated each congregant with the same respect and dignity, He helped each one find a place to serve and belong, just fitting where that person was on his /her faith journey, He used all of his extraordinary, God-given gifts in so many creative ways to selflessly honor God and serve others, Together with ,Don Marsh , the church had a fabulous ministry of music that was shared around the country, as well as Port Jervis, and some of that music lives on still
in many hymnals , I had the privilege and bittersweet pleasure to say good-bye in person to Dick in Santa Fe a week before he died, To me, he seemed ready to meet his Maker. I love and will never forget Dick. He is a gift God placed on my lifes path for which I owe many thanks, I am sure the Lord welcomed Dick into Heaven with, Well done, good and faithful servant, Rev. Richard Avery,
Deborah Kimokeo
March 29, 2020
Such a dear friend and colleague with a keen mind, gentle spirit, and talent galore. He will be sorely missed. Jan and Bob Chesnut
March 29, 2020
cram lear
March 27, 2020
Even though we were Methodists, Dick Avery did most every funeral in our family. He enabled my husband and I to renew our marriage vows in Santa Fe, NM, exactly 50 years from the day that he married us in Port Jervis on August 24, 1968!

We had a wonderful time talking about my grandmother, Margaret Tucker, who adored him, and our mutual friends, Janis and Peter Osborne.Dick knew everyone! What a memory he had!

When I tell people that I am from Port Jervis, people often ask me if I know Avery and Marsh! Dick was known far and wide for his quiet, introspective moments, his belief in goodness, his deep religious beliefs, and his incredible musical talents!

He is now an inspiration for the ages!

Rest in peace; you have made this world a better place.
Joyce Hitt-Gordon
March 27, 2020
Joyce Hitt-Gordon
March 26, 2020
Our beloved pastor, teacher, encourager and friend Rev.Avery will always live in our hearts.
Dennis and
March 26, 2020
March 25, 2020
Rev. Avery married Barbara and I ion 1992, he was a great man and did so much for the city of Port Jervis, he and Donald made going to church a fun and rewarding time. He will be missed.
jay valkenburg
March 25, 2020
I am blessed to have known Dick. So sorry to hear of his passing.He was very loved by all who knew him. RIP Dick...
March 23, 2020
I thank God for the gift of Richard Avery and for the manner in which he shared that gift with so many over these many years! He touched many many lives.
Edward Gehres, Jr.
March 21, 2020
Giving thanks to God for the life and ministry of Rev. Dick Avery. I am grateful that he and Don Marsh moved to Santa Fe and part of our community. Prayers for family and friends.
Michael Adee
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