Jerry C. McAvoy

August 04, 1944 ‒ August 24, 2017

Mount Gilead, Ohio
Formerly of Edison, Ohio

Jerry C. McAvoy, age 73, of Mount Gilead, died unexpectedly on Thursday, August 24, 2017, with his loving family by his side, after complications from a recent fall.

On August 4, 1944, Jerry was born in West Virginia, the oldest of five children of the late Gorrell “Jack” and Hazel (Williamson) McAvoy.  After all the kids were born, they moved as a family from Webster Springs, West Virginia, to Marion County and then to Cardington, where he graduated from high school in the class of 1963.

Jerry lived a life of service and sacrifice, dedicated to the safety of everyone in his community.  For many years, he served the Village of Edison as their fire chief, and then volunteered on the Mount Gilead Fire Department.  He also served as the Fire Marshall at the Whirlpool Corporation in Marion for twenty five years, often working seven days a week, until his retirement in 2006.

In his younger days, Jerry had a passion for coon hunting, and won numerous world championships with his coon hound, Droop.  He had several other coon hounds over the years, with his favorite being “Avon Lady”.  Jerry was a lifetime member of the Morrow County Coon Hunters Association.

With a love for the open road, Jerry has put tens of thousands of miles on his many motorcycles over the years.  Attending motorcycle rallies all over the United States, Jerry and his brother, Roger, decided to start a business while they were at it.  They started M & M Lites, decorating motorcycles with L.E.D. lights.  He was a proud member of the GWRRA Motorcycle Club.

After reuniting with someone from his elementary school days, Jerry found a wonderful travel companion in his significant, Bonnie Lantz.  For the past four years, they travelled all over the United States and enjoyed their winters in Eloy, Arizona.  They shared many special trips, with one of their favorites being their recent 4,000 mile trip to Nova Scotia.  Both were disappointed they “never saw a damn moose,” despite the thousands of moose crossing warning signs they saw.

One of a kind, Jerry was stubborn as a bull and his family questions a recent story where he actually admitted he was once wrong.  Despite his gruff exterior though, he had his own unique way of showing everyone he loved how much he cared.  He especially loved his grandchildren, and he made time for all of them giving them unforgettable stories and memories they will forever cherish.  He also had a great sense of humor, always getting a laugh out of you with his sharp wit.

Left to cherish his memory are his three children: Valorie (Rev. Peter) Ray of Grove City, OH, Mike McAvoy of Mount Gilead, and Mindi McAvoy of Mount Gilead; seven grandchildren: Andrew Ray, Megan (Jesse) Dulebohn, Brittany Lambert, Zackery (Single/Available) McAvoy, Elizabeth (Allen) McAvoy-Conkins, Keegan McAvoy, and Kierra McAvoy; three great-grandchildren: Ava, Emma and Eleanor Dulebohn; three siblings: Gary (Patty) McAvoy, Dana (Cheryl) McAvoy, and Roger (Suzie Barnhart) McAvoy; numerous nieces and nephews; his significant other, Bonnie Lantz; and her dog, Zena, and cat, Cougar.

In addition to his parents, Jerry was preceded in death by his brother, Ray McAvoy.

His family will greet friends from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, August 28, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead.  Burial and firefighter honors will take place Saturday, September 16, 2017. Guests are invited to meet at 10:00 AM at Cherry Street Elementary in Mount Gilead where a processional will lead to Glendale Cemetery for graveside services.

Memorial contributions ​may be made to the Humane Society of Morrow County, PO Box 298, Mount Gilead, OH 43338.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Jerry’s family and your favorite memories and condolences may be shared with them via

  • Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers for to the entire family. REST IN PEACE IN HEAVEN.

  • Love and peace to your family. Ride high on the mountain to your Father, we will see you again. Thank you Jerry for carrying my purse like you owned it when it was to heavy for me to carry in Pigeon Forge. Our family has so many funny stories and good times to remember and talk about. From W.Va, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina and so many states. Could hardly keep up with you. Glad you and Bonnie stayed on the road and had so many happy adventures. You probably would never realized how many friends, family and people you met on your journey, who are better people because they met you. I’ll always remember and never forget. Glad you finally got your fried green tomatoes. Later……you’re only in the next room.

  • My deepest condolences to all family . I know you will miss your Dad and Grandpa terribly but knowing how much he loved each one of you will live in your hearts forever. My love and prayers are with all of you. Lots of memories .

  • We are truly blessed to have been with Jerry at the McAvoy reunion at Lou Creel’s home in NC two weeks ago. Jerry was the first to arrive and the last to leave. You could tell that he always enjoyed being with family and friends. If Webster would write the definition of “Good Guy” in the dictionary, Jerry would be the first name on the list. Our heartfelt sympathy, love and prayers to everyone and Bonnie Lantz.
    Jackie (McAvoy) Stephens
    Brooks Stephens

    • Jackie, Brooks,
      So sorry to hear of your lose. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

      Bill Lowery

  • We were truly blessed to have known Jerry and to have had him as a dear friend and motorcycle traveling companion on many, many trips. Jerry was the most kind hearted and trustworthy individual that anyone could’ve known. Being a loyal dear Member of Chapter “B” GWRRA of Ohio, he will be truly missed by the whole Chapter. He was always willing to help anyone who needed a helping hand. Our love and prayers are with the family and Bonnie.

  • We are glad we were able to travel to Nova Scotia and the New England states with Jerry and Bonnie recently crossing one trip off of the three on Jerry’s bucket list. We especially enjoyed sitting around the campfire at night. We created a lot of memories and we hope those memories will help get Bonnie through the rough days ahead. Jerry will be missed.

  • So saddened by the news of Jerrys passing. I have a special memory of when Jerry and Bonnie visited Dottie and I at Daytona. He didn’t waste a day of life he enjoyed it to the fullest. Praying for Bonnie and the family.

  • I am so sorry Bonnie that words can’t express how I hurt for you. I am so glad you had him for as long as you did to make all your special memories. I ask that Jesus wraps his arms around you and comforts you through this difficult time . R.I.P. Jerry Call me if you need anything at all and I will try and help.

  • What a shocker to hear of your accident. I’ve loved reading about all of you and Bonnie’s adventures all over the United States. As a former classmate, a neighbor and friend, you will be missed. Prayers for your family and Bonnie.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Jerry was a very nice man who will be remembered by many. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

  • So sorry to hear of Jerrys accident we had some good times on our travels to Daytona Bike week. What a great guy he was and always willing to help. He will be missed.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of your sudden loss. I have many fond memories of Jerry from back in my Edison days with Valorie. I’ll be praying for your family.

  • I worked with Jerry and his Dad and brothers at Whirlpool many years, sorry to hear of his passing. Prayers for his Family and friends for their loss.