Richard J Avey
December 19, 1923 ‒ August 10, 2008
Richard J. Avey, 84, of Delaware, Ohio died peacefully Sunday morning August 10, 2008 at home following a four month illness. Born December 19, 1923 in Claremont County, Ohio to William and Theresa (Baudendistel) Avey, he was a 1941 graduate of Willis High School and served in the European theatre during WWII. Upon his discharge in January 1946, he settled in Delaware Ohio with his wife Caroline (Morris) Avey where they raised 5 children (2 girls and 3 boys). Richard and Caroline founded the Council for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities in Delaware County in 1957 in order to educate and care for their son Daniel and all the other mentally challenged children of Delaware County. As Daniel grew and required more services and infrastructure, Richard and Caroline subsequently founded H.B. #169 Board, Hickory Knoll, Alpha Group, Residential Connections and the Delaware Creative Housing. In 1983 the Avey Award was established in their honor to award long-term contributors to the Citizens of Delaware County with retardation or developmental disabilities. In 1995 Mr. Avey received the Wayne Hilborn Lifetime Achievement Award, from the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, for his outstanding contribution in 37 years of developing schools and related programs for the mentally retarded. A State employee since 1955, Mr. Avey started at Scioto Village/Riverview as a stationary engineer; in 1968 he became Maintenance Superintendent at Riverview and retired in 1983 after nearly 30 years. Mr. Avey tinkered in fields as diverse as stained glass, wind turbines, welding, and woodworking. He built many campers for the family camping trips as well as several boats, one of which could be taken apart for transporting. Mr. Avey loved inventing, creating, and “Seeing what would happen if…” He was a founding member of Delaware’s Antique Farm Machinery Association. He exhibited his collection of small antique engines (many of which he built from scratch or miscellaneous parts) in the local area and was published in Gas Engine magazine. Mr. Avey built two of the family’s three residences and helped build the third. He assisted three of his children in rehabilitating their homes. Mr. Avey was a life time member of the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center where he volunteered many hours and created the guest book stand for their foyer (and many cabinets and other woodworking projects). He was a passionate naturalist and was looking forward to volunteering in the parks system when he was disabled by a stroke in 2001.He is survived by his adoring wife of 64 years, Caroline (Morris) Avey, and his children: Cinda (Bill) Bauer, Daniel Avey, Ernest (Soni) Avey, Janene (Mike) Jackson, and Aaron Avey; four grandchildren: Tazura (Andrew) Seiple, Nathaniel (Lisa) Avey, Matthew (Janet) Bauer, and Benjamin Bauer; and two great-grandchildren: Dominique and Iziah Avey; nieces Evadene (Bill) Hausman and Eloise (Jim) Keating, and two grand-nieces, two brother-in- laws: David (Sue) Morris and Stanley Morris, and other family and friends too numerous to list. He is preceded in death by two brothers and their wives, Lawrence (Edith) Avey and Ervin (Grace) Avey and a nephew Norman Avey, who is survived by his wife Mary. He will be greatly missed by family, friends and the gang at Buehlers as he was a generous, kind man who cared deeply for the quality of life of not only his family and friends, but all the citizens of Delaware County, and was virtually a walking encyclopedia of fascinating knowledge and experience. The family will receive friends today (Tuesday August 12th) from 5 – 8 pm at the Rodman Neeper Funeral Home, 1510 W. William Street, Delaware. Private family graveside services will be held at Radnor Cemetery with the Delaware County Veterans Association providing military honors at graveside.