CARLOS AVERY (1938 - 2019)

  • "One of the smartest and nicest people I met in my career..."
    - Darryl
  • "I, and his local railroad friends will miss him very much. ..."


Carlos P. Avery  
November 7, 1938-November 15, 2019  

Physicist, intelligence analyst, local historian, and author was born in Hutchinson, Minn., and spent his childhood in Glenwood, Minn. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in physics, he moved to Rockville, Md., in 1967 to accept an analyst position with the Central Intelligence Agency. From 1975 to 1986 he was chief of the agency's Directed Energy Branch, and from 1986 to 2017 he held the position of senior analyst. Over his 50-year CIA career, he worked primarily in the areas of Soviet science, technology, strategic defense weapons, Y2K, and Iraq. Though deeply devoted to his agency work, Carlos dedicated any free time to his research of the life and railroad-station architecture of Ephraim Francis Baldwin, which culminated in his book E. Francis Baldwin, Architect: The B&O, Baltimore, and Beyond, published in 2003 by the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. He also enjoyed genealogy, running, photography, and math puzzles. He is survived by his partner of nearly 60 years, Sara Torvik, of Silver Spring, Md., as well as his children, Erica (Charlie Breunig) of Greenfield, Mass.; Carlos Matthew, of Germantown, Md.; Christopher, of Baltimore County, Md., and Andrea (Fred Decker), of Phoenix, Ariz. He is survived by one grandson, Noah, of Baltimore County, Md.; two beloved brothers, Mark (Marie), of Ormond Beach, Fla., and Steve (Barbara), of Sartell, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews and other extended family. He is survived, too, by dearest friends of more than 50 years, notably Peter and Pat Torvik of Kettering, Ohio, and Betty Brown of Minneapolis, Minn. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the B&O Historical Society, or the Baltimore Architecture Foundation. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 19, 2019
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