Luther T. Avery Sr.

October 28, 2022


Luther Turner Avery Sr, August 14, 1922-October 24, 2022. Luther Turner Avery Sr. passed away October 24, 2022, at the age of 100 years old. 

Luther was born in Zama, Mississippi on August 14, 1922, to Captain Logan (C. L.) Avery and Katie Lavonia McMichael Avery. He had two sisters Lavonia (Avery) Holly and Maebell (Avery) McCool-Mundell, and twin brothers, Sam Lawrence (S. L.) Avery and Charles Leonard (C. L.) Avery. All preceded him in death.

He was a graduate of Attala County Training School in Kosciusko, Mississippi.

In 1943, during World War II, Kaiser Shipbuilding Company was recruiting people to come to Portland, Oregon to work in their shipyards. Luther heeded the call and said goodbye to the farm in Mississippi and journeyed to Portland to work in the shipyards as a small crane operator.  

In 1944, Luther met Geraldine Smith at Kaiser Shipyards. In 1945 Luther and Geraldine were married and moved to Vanport.  There they had two sons, Luther Jr., and Michael.  By the 1950’s the family had expanded to welcome daughters, Yvonne, and Diane. 

By the early 1970’s Luther and Geraldine transitioned to separate chapters in their lives but remained good friends.

By 1976 Luther was working for TriMet as a bus driver. It was during this time that he met Dolores Hudson. Dolores and Luther spent many happy years together traveling with friends to the Monterey Blues and Jazz Festival and the Waterfront Blues Festival. Luther and Dolores were together in marriage until her death in 2002.

If you knew Luther, you know he was a blues man through and through and was an authority on the history of the blues and the musicians who played the blues. He was kind, honest, and good. He made you smile and laugh every time you spoke with him. He was a storyteller and historian extraordinaire. One minute he could give you a history lesson on any subject and the next minute regale you with a humorous story from his past.  He was often called upon to speak to school children about the history of Vanport.  He made the best peanut brittle for his young children and their friends, took pride in his backyard vegetable garden, and had every crockpot cookbook ever written.

He is survived by his son Luther Avery Jr., daughters Yvonne Alexander and Diane Avery, granddaughters Deidre Melson, Tonya Alexander and Sonya Blake, grandsons Cameron Avery and Bryan Avery, and a host of great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many wonderful friends. His son Michael preceded him in death in 2021.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, at the Allen Temple CME Church, 4236 NE 8th Avenue, Portland, OR.


The family of Luther Turner Avery, Sr. requests that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to “Meals on Wheels People” in memory of Luther’s faithful delivery of meals to the homes of people in the community when he volunteered for Northeast Multicultural Service Center’s Loaves and Fishes program.

Meals on Wheels People, P.O. Box 19477, Portland OR. 97280. 

5325 NE Martin Luther King Jr, Blvd, Portland, Or 97211. (503) 953-8207.

Thank you,

The Avery family

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November 3, 2022

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Rose City Cemetery & Funeral Home
5625 NE Fremont Street
Portland, Oregon 97213

Funeral Service
November 4, 2022

11:00 AM
Allen Temple CME Church
4236 NE 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97211


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