MAY 12, 1923 – MAY 6, 2017
Mary Sue Owen Avery, “Sue,” passed away on May 6, 2017. She was born May 12,1923, in Stamford, Texas, to the Reverend Joseph Archibald Owen and Mrs. Mary Julia Owen. Sue and her three siblings, Doris, Jo Ann, and Bob, were raised in the church where Rev. Owen served as minister−Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church in Albany, Texas, the county seat of Shackelford County.
The year she graduated high school, Sue performed in the very first Fort Griffin Fandango and had planned to return this year to see the production once again. During her time as a student at Trinity University in Waxahachie, Texas, the campus moved to San Antonio. Being a small-town girl, Sue was not crazy about a move to the big city, but it turned out to be the first step in a life of exploration. Sue joked that she set out on her own because finding a husband was the only goal she failed to accomplish in college (a time when so many young men enlisted to serve in World War II).
Sue’s wanderlust and career as an elementary school teacher led her to several school districts in Texas and New Mexico. Taking advantage of a U.S. State Department program, Sue moved to Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in 1954 to teach children of U. S. military members. Her world adventure continued as she traveled extensively during this time.
After returning to the States, Sue met the Reverend Richard “Dick” Day Avery, a Presbyterian minister. They married on July 13, 1957, thus continuing a family tradition for Sue, whose father and uncles were also Presbyterian ministers. Sue was always an active part of the Presbyterian Church and served in many roles, including elder and long-time choir member. She and Dick had two boys and settled in Needville, where Sue taught for many years and earned a master’s degree in education. Dick served in the pulpit of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church for 28 years.
Sue was also an avid reader and library volunteer. She was a good friend, loving wife, and wonderful mother. She even enjoyed an occasional piña colada. After Dick’s passing in 1997, Sue moved to Bryan, Texas, where she enjoyed meeting new people, continuing her travels, and being close to family. In addition to her beloved extended family, Sue is survived by her sons David, and his fiancée Mykela Greenwood, and Richard and his wife Marcie. Sue will be missed dearly and remembered lovingly.
A visitation will take place Monday evening, May 8, from 5–7 p.m. at Hillier Funeral Home in Bryan, Texas. A funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Bryan on Tuesday, May 9, at 10 a.m., followed by a graveside service at 3 p.m. at Davis-Greenlawn Cemetery in Rosenberg, Texas. Memorial gifts may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Bryan.
Please visit Sue’s tribute page at www.hillierfuneralhome.com to share memories and stories.