Dale Charles VanAvery, 78 of Center Twp, died March 4, 2020 in Petoskey.
Dale was born on April 29, 1941 in Detroit, MI, the son of Russell and Margaret (Ruder) VanAvery. He grew up in the Fenton area with his parents and his younger brother, Dennis VanAvery and spent a lot of his childhood around the Straits of Mackinac, St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, as his dad worked for the ferries that served that area before the Mackinac Bridge was completed. It was during this time that his love for all things Great Lakes and Shipping grew, a love that he would have throughout his life.
Dale graduated from Fenton High School with the Class of 1960 before attending college in Wisconsin and later enlisted in the US Army Reserves and shortly thereafter began working as an Over-the-Road Truck Driver.
On July 17, 1976, Dale married the love of his life, the former Judy Piehl, in Petoskey and the two made their home on their farm in Center Township, where they remained till today. Dale loved working the land and working with his hands and soon became a full-time farmer, while driving truck still on the side. His golden fields of sunflowers were known throughout the county and were visited, viewed and enjoyed by local people and visitors from far and wide.
He served on the Center Township Board of Review and was a Farm Bureau Member for many years. Some of his favorite pastimes included visiting with family and friends, traveling, and any activity that involved eating ice cream. He could most always be found wearing his signature “uniform”, his one-piece blue coveralls. Dale was a laid-back man, very friendly and outgoing-a true gentleman. He was a talker, and could enjoy a conversation with anyone. He will be greatly missed by all those that knew and loved him.
Dale is survived by his wife, Judy; 4 sons, John (Shelly) VanAvery of Holly, MI, Mark (Theresa) VanAvery of Holly, MI, Matt (Emily) VanAvery of Levering, and James (Beth) VanAvery of Levering; 5 grandchildren, Garrett, Hailey, Connor, Lane, and Max (Whitney); and by one great grandson, Ronan.
A memorial gathering celebrating Dale’s life will be held at the Center Twp. Hall on March 14th from 2-5pm.
Those who wish to honor Dale’s memory, are asked to make a donation to his memorial fund, in care of his wife, Judy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dale VanAvery, please visit our floral store.