Rev. Janet Lynne Avery, born 1 December 1945 in Rochester, New York, USA, died on 13 July 2018 at Southside Regional Medical Center, in Petersburg, VA, at 72 years of age.
Janet worked as an IT Manager and Software Development Manager at several firms in California, including NCR, Basic Four, and PacTel. In 1988, Janet decided Orange County, California needed it’s own Gay Pride Festival. She organized the 1st Orange County Cultural Pride Festival held in Santa Ana in 1989, guiding it from an idea into a reality. They honored Janet as the founding President the next year by creating the Janet Avery Award to recognize a volunteer who provided an outstanding contribution to Orange County Cultural Pride celebration. This Pride festival is still being held in Orange County.
Janet was ordained as a minister in the Metropolitan Community Church in 2006. At one point or another, Janet worked as an Interim Pastor, Volunteer Clergy, and/or was an active member of MCC Open Door, MCC of the Hudson Valley, MCC Fredericksburg, MCC of Washington DC, and MCC Richmond. She provided security support and service to many MCC events, regionally and denominationally, including the Installation Service of the denomination’s second Moderator, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, held at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, in October 2011.
Janet moved from Maryland to Petersburg, Virginia, USA when she retired in 2015, and became active in many local organizations, among them, the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County & Beyond, and Side By Side (formerly ROSMY), an organization dedicated to creating supportive communities where Virginia’s LGBTQ+ youth can define themselves, belong, and flourish. Janet volunteered there weekly lending her energy, experience and love to the youth of the organization. The youth there loved her sass, stories, and the care she showed to each and every one of them. Her presence will be greatly missed by Side by Side youth and staff.
A service of remembrance will be scheduled for Rev. Avery at a later date.