Frederick F. “Rick” Avery peacefully passed away on Sunday, September 8th in his Horseshoe Bay home after a long, brave struggle with dementia.
He was born October 8, 1930 in Peoria, Illinois where his family owned furniture stores for several generations. Growing up with his younger sister, Sherry, summers were spent at his mother’s rambling summer cottage in Wisconsin with its side badminton court (he became badminton doubles champion at the University of Wisconsin), many boats and screened sleeping porches. Summers were also spent at Cheley Camp for Boys in Estes Park, Colorado, where bunks were in Conestoga wagons and he learned to climb the great fourteeners in the Colorado Rockies. Rick was forever impacted by Long’s Peak and the beauty of God’s world.
At Todd School for Boys, he lettered in three sports and discovered the saxophone, beginning a lifelong passion for music. He graduated Williams College in 1952, playing varsity basketball three years and pitching his fraternity Beta Theta Pi to Slow Pitch Baseball Championships each year. Rick earned his MBA at the University of Wisconsin and went to work as a buyer at Marshall Field’s in Chicago. It was there he had a blind date with a girl named Jody Oldberg. He had met his love. They were married September 7, 1956 and blessed with three children, Cindy, Kirk and Karen. While dating, he would take her to Midway Airport to watch planes take off and he would say, “one day we will be on one of these, we will explore the world!” And they did. Curiosity and wanderlust were in his soul.
Leaving the retail business, Rick began his marketing career with Proctor & Gamble, where he became brand manager of a new product he led into the market called Pampers. Their youngest daughter wore the first pampers. Jody was the envy of the young mother crowd. Rick then went to Folgers in Kansas City. Invited to present a business problem to University of Kansas grad students, he discovered a love of mentoring that continued all his business life, giving seminars at William and Mary, Harvard, the University of Tennessee, and SMU, where he became an adjunct professor.
In 1970, Rick joined Dr. Pepper in Dallas to manage company owned bottling plants, the Canadian division, and Miss Teenage America. He became Executive VP of Marketing, with “I’m a Pepper” one of his favorite originated campaigns. He and Jody hosted yearly incentive trips for top bottlers, traveling to many exotic places including Japan, where he once jammed with a Japanese Dixieland Band at Tokyo’s Royal Imperial Hotel.
From 1980-87, Rick was President of Anderson Clayton Foods in Dallas. In a major Wall Street takeover, ACF was bought by Quaker Oats and sold to Kraft, Inc. From 1988-94, he was president of a new company he created, Kraft Food Ingredients, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Rick was a member of the Sales and Marketing Club of Dallas, served on Cotton Bowl Council as Chairman, Director and Parade Chair, was President of Sales & Marketing International. He served on many boards and received many honors including Who’s Who.
A great delight was being chosen as King or Ouro of Memphis Cotton Carnival’s oldest Krewe, Memphi, where music was his theme and Lida Bross his lovely Queen.
After retirement, Rick gave seminars in career counseling. He and Jody built a Colorado home and also moved to Horseshoe Bay ten years ago, where he was often seen walking his beloved brittany or captaining their red and white pontoon boat.
Rick’s business motivation was to help people find their calling, learn from mistakes and work in creative environments. He lived on the positive side of life with a keen sense of humor and a deep faith. He will be most fondly remembered for the warmth of his signature smile and the kindness in his heart. Rick’s loving influence will continue to be felt by all who were blessed to know him.
He was preceded in death by his father N. Kirk Avery, his mother Elisabeth Fifield Avery, and his youngest daughter Karen Avery Word. He is survived by his wife Jody Avery; son Kirk Avery and wife Gretchen; daughter Cindy Faulkner and husband Tom; grandchildren Matthew and Allie Faulkner, Sydney Word, Kirk, Michael and Willy Avery, and Will Chris and Augie Glazener; sister Sherrill Irons; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Avery family would like to give special thanks to the Visiting Angels, especially Amy, Colleen, Wally and Alise, and the New Century Hospice care Team, especially Dr. Peter Gosselink, Cassy, Tracy and Claudie, who cared for him so tenderly.
Memorial service will be at 3:00 PM on Saturday October 5th at The Church of Horseshoe Bay, 600 Hi Ridge Rd., in Horseshoe Bay, TX. An online registry may be signed at www.CremationAdvocates.net.
Memorial contributions may be made in Rick’s honor to the charity of your choice.
Rick’s care entrusted to Cremation Advocates by Putnam, 206 Ave H, Suite 204, Marble Falls, TX 78654. (830) 798-8413.