Dr. J. Kelley Avery

Dr. J. Kelley Avery

Posted: Friday, March 4, 2011 12:22 pm

The Messenger, March 4, 2011
Dr. James Kelley Avery, 85, of Nashville, a former resident and practicing physician in Union City, died March 3, 2011, in Nashville after a brief illness.
Choral Eucharist in the nave of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Nashville will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, with interment of ashes in the Columbarium to follow.  
Visitation with the family will be in Sanders Hall at the church Tuesday from 1-2 p.m.
Memorials may be made to St. David’s Episcopal Church, 6501 Pennywell Drive, Nashville, TN 37205.  
He was born Jan. 16, 1926, in Alamo, son of the late Josie (Kelley) and Judge John Buchanan Avery Sr. He attended Baylor University from 1943-44 and then transferred to Southern Methodist University from 1944-45 to enroll in the Naval program for premed training. While attending SMU, he was selected to the All-Southwest Conference basketball team. He then attended the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, graduating in 1948. He served his internship at the former John Gaston Hospital in Memphis in 1949.  Following his internship, he served in the U.S. Navy before establishing his general medical practice in Union City, where he was a physician from 1951 until 1982 and was a certified member of the American Board of Family Medicine and a charter member of the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians.
He served as president of the Tennessee Medical Association in 1976 and during his service with the TMA he also served as a charter member of the board of directors of State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company. He retired from his practice in Union City in 1982 and moved to Nashville, continuing his involvement with SVMIC and serving as associate director of medical affairs of St. Thomas Hospital from 1986-93 before leaving to serve as chief medical officer for Ornda Healthcorp from 1993-97.
Active in the Democratic party and serving in various capacities in Obion County, he was also a regional medical director and served as a consultant to the Commissioner of Health of the State of Tennessee.
He was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church in 1981 and served as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Union City and as a non-stipendiary priest for the Diocese of Tennessee.
He also gave time, attention and support to many charitable organizations.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Handley Avery; his daughter and son-in-law, Pamela (Avery) and Jesse B. Murphy of Samburg; three sons and daughters-in-law, James Kelley Avery Jr. and Glenda Avery of Bartlett, John Buchanan Avery III and Sarah Avery of Nashville and John Reed and Sheryl Avery of Downer’s Grove, Ill.; three stepdaughters and another son-in-law, Sandy Nevada Walton, Karen Leigh Moore and Carolyn Louisa and John Hannon, all of Nashville; his stepson, Robert Carl Parker of Colorado Springs, Colo.; nine grandchildren and their spouses, James Kelley “Jake” Avery III and Augusta Avery, Jessica Avery Murphy, Kelley Jo Murphy, Amanda Dannemiller, Nathan William Martin, Taylor Craig Martin, Austin Graham and Ashley Martin, Madison Lee Moore and Avery Callie Hannon; and a great-grandchild, Ashtin Craig Martin.  
He was also preceded in death by his brother, John Buchanan Avery Jr.; and his sister, Sara Avery Emison.

Leave a Comment