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Dr. Harry C. Avery
June 9, 2023
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Dr. Harry Costas Avery, devoted husband, father, grandfather, teacher and scholar, died peacefully at age 93 on Friday June 9, 2023. He was married to his beloved wife JoAnn (McDonald) Avery for over 50 years until her death in 2015. Dr. Avery was born in 1930 in Philadelphia, the younger of two sons, and raised by devoted parents Costas Avery and Eugenia (Geraleas) Avery. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and served at Fort Lewis (Washington) in the interval between World War 2 and the Korean War. After the Army he attended the University of Pennsylvania on a scholarship, graduating with a degree in Classics. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Greece and went on to earn a Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois and then a PhD in Classics at Princeton University in 1959.
Dr. Avery’s career as a scholar and teacher spanned over 50 years. His particular research and teaching interests were in Greek literature and history of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE and in Roman history and literature of the late Republic and the Augustan era.
The majority of his career was spent at the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as Classics Department Chairman for two decades and Professor Emeritus since 2015. Earlier in his career he taught at the University of Texas and Bryn Mawr College, where he met his wife JoAnn.
He is survived by his loving children Eugenia “Genie”, Anna (Alison Gross), Constantine and William (Joanne Shaw) as well as his grandchildren Sofie Avery, Grace Avery-Gross, and Lily Avery-Gross. Friends will be received at John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com) 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street on Wednesday from 3-6p.m. Additional visitation will be held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Thursday from 10a.m. until an 11a.m. Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dominican Sisters of Peace in Columbus, Ohio.