Merwyn “Chum” Avery

Share On:

Merwyn Robert “Chum” Avery, age 89, of Gaylord, passed away Monday, September 27, 2021.

He was born to Bruce and Eathyl Leona (Burke) Avery on May 2, 1932, in Elmira, Michigan.

In high school, Merwyn played various sports such as basketball, but his true love was football.

Merwyn lived a full and happy life. He had several hobbies including hunting, and spending time on the lake fishing.

He was a family man and would do anything for his family. That is why he worked for many years at Standard Products. He also owned a gas station and two Ski-Doo snowmobile shops. He lived and breathed for his family.

Merwyn is survived by his children, Keith (Sandy) Avery of Ada, MI, Kreig Avery, Kent (Sally) Avery, and Karen Avery all of Gaylord, MI; grandchildren, Bryan (Laura) Avery, Travis Avery, Jeremy (Amanda) Avery, Lanette Avery, Krystal (Marty) Donajkowski, Caitlin Simcek, Douglas Simcek, Trevor (Mackenzie) Prusakiewicz, and Raeann (Jake Phillips) Prusakiewicz; and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Lillian; son, Kalvin; parents, Bruce and Eathyl Leona; two brothers; and two sisters.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, online at

Arrangements were entrusted to the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548 Gaylord, MI 49734.

21 comments on “Merwyn “Chum” Avery”

  1. Thank you Grandpa for all of the years of knowledge, values of what is right and wrong or good and bad, stories of the good ole’ days and all of the unconditional love! You always went above and beyond for your grandkids and I am forever grateful. I will miss you at all of the birthday parties, Christmas, and our spur of the moment, barbecues. So many memories that I will always treasure. I miss you so much, already. I know you are where you need to be ❤

  2. I love you so much Grandpa. I know your in the best place ever, to exist, and with Grandma, and everyone else, now. I can’t be there but I’m there by heart. I will come pay my respects next time I’m home. Thank you for helping raise me. I loved all our debates. I will miss our visits and calls so much. 😢 I will see you at the gates.

  3. I met “Chum” by chance, as my wife and I were visiting the cemetery in Gaylord! As we drove around looking for my wife’s Great Grandparents (she is the Great Granddaughter of Bruce and Eathyl Leona Avery) we ran across the marker of Chum and Lillian. After talking to her mother, to find out who they were, we set out to find out more. A little further we ran across Kelvin’s burial! The cemetery is big but I wasn’t leaving until we located Bruce and Eathyl.
    As we drove around for probably the 3rd or 4th loop we came across a pickup truck stopped in the lane. I didn’t want to rush the person off so I set back and my wife took off on foot.
    Wasn’t long when we both noticed this person was at the first gravesite we came upon.
    My wife stopped to talk to the man and asked if he knew this family, to which he responded, ”yes, this is my wife, Lillian!”
    What are the chances we would meet Chum visiting his loved ones on the same day we were looking for my wife’s family!
    I could have sat and talked to him the rest of the day but we made plans to meet with him on a later date.
    We were lucky to have met up with him on a couple occasions since. The stories we shared were about family, fishing, and just about his life! I am so glad we had the chance to meet this man! We had made plans to meet this ice fishing season, but I guess you’ll take the whereabouts of your “honey hole” with you…
    R.I.P Chum!!!

  4. I remember Chum, from the Ski Doo shop on south Otsego, my dad bought a sled or two from Chum. I went to school with Kent, we graduated together in 75. Strangely enough my mother and Kent’s Mpm shared the same room in the maternity ward at OHM! Chum was a good man and he will be missed! Thoughts and prayers to his family.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Joel. Interesting that our Mothers were in the same maternity ward. I did not know that.

  5. Donna Radtke Cross

    I met this man when I was 10 or 11, then didn’t see him for many years. He remembered me and was pleased to reconnect. He was a wonderful man with a beautiful soul. I’m sure he is enjoying being with Lil again. So sorry for your loss.

    1. Thanks Donna. At 89 his memory, long term and short term, was truly incredible, sharp as a tack. No senior moments. And you are spot on, I am sure he is enjoying being with Mom again. He truly missed her.

      1. Donna Radtke Cross

        Keith, he was so special. Fond memories of us skidooing as young kids. He was comforted when he saw I was caring for Kal. Lots of great connection to the Avery’s. Sending hugs to all of you.

  6. Thanks Norm. He will be missed by all. I know he is at peace because he is re-united with his high school sweetheart, the love of his life. Or as I and my brothers know her, Mom.

  7. Sorry to hear of Chum’s passing. I remember the relationship we had at the Ski Doo shop.
    He was always happy to chat & was very helpful keeping my old sled running. He
    even fixed my snowblower & didn’t charge me what he should have! A very humble
    man who will be missed by family & friends

    1. Chuck, thanks for your comments. My Dad was just that kind of man. He never charged what he could have for his services. He was more interested in providing value beyond what anyone expected. For that he was loved and admired by anyone who knew him. He will be missed by us all!

  8. He was always my moral compass in life even before I knew it. In a moral dilemma I would always think what course of action he would follow. I told him this once, and he would site several examples of his failings, but I would dismiss them as we all human.
    He was the 3rd parent in my life. I spent sometime living with him . If I needed help with this and that, he would find the time to help. Of course he would have no regard for my sleep schedule. Nothing like manual labor at 7am where I went to bed around 3.
    He will be missed by all.

  9. He was such a loving and caring person to me, my husband and the whole family. I will miss the hugs he always asked every time we met.

  10. My heartfelt condolences to my cousins, even though we never lived close by I have fond memories of visits at Uncle Chum and Aunt Lillian’s. I was always a little jealous because I remember them as the cool parents, so active and fun loving. Uncle Chum always had a way of listening and saying the right things, even these past years I enjoyed phone calls from him. Fly high my sweet wonderful uncle, you will be remembered as one of the good ole guys ❤️.

    1. Leona , you were always referred to as “Sissy” ( not sure where that came from). It is always someone elses parents who are the cool ones, but in this case you are right they were both pretty cool! Everyone misses the old Avery reunions during summers. Your parents and my parents saw each other fairly often. Your Dad, my Dad and Uncle Todd sure loved to fish. You should see some of the photos we had at the Funeral today with the brothers holding HUGE fish. “where did they catch those?” were comments. We put a couple fishing poles in the casket with my Dad. One for Ice Fishing and one for regular fishing. Hope to see you again someday. It has been too long. Thanks for the remembrance.

  11. Growing up on Arbutus Beach I knew Chum my whole life. He was so much fun at the Ski-Doo shop with all the guys. My dad spent winters there and we would help put snowmobiles together. The Avery family was a big part of our childhood we miss you and loved him very much….R.I.P.,..

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Scroll to Top