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Please feel free to leave a note for Nate’s family – scroll to the bottom of the page to leave your comment.

Nate, in his element, on the river. Grand Canyon, 2010

 

A Celebration of the Life of Nate Avery will be hosted by his family and friends at the lower Hart Prairie Lodge at Arizona Snow Bowl starting at 4:00 p.m. on August 24, 2012.  Following the program, there will be a celebration party on the deck.  Please dress appropriately for monsoon conditions at 9,000 feet of elevation.  In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting donations to the Flagstaff Community Foundation in Dr. Avery’s name.

427 Comments

    • Shannon Phil Jack and Ellie
    • Posted August 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie and the rest of the Avery clan,
    Our hearts are broken and we’re sharing your sadness. Our thoughts are with you. With Love, Shan, Phil, Jack and Ellie

    • When I delivered our Cash to Marshall School this morning fighting back tears I reminded myself that Nathan would want us to keep on loving kids, keep on laughing and keep on helping others. That’s the kind of guy he was. We’ll be eternally grateful to our friend Nate for being important to all the Taylors and many others as well. Nancy

  1. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie, and all. Our hearts go out to you and we are so saddened by this. Sending big hugs your way and know that our thoughts are with you. Much love, Sheila, Kerry, Heather and Ryan

  2. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie: Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We am so very sorry for your loss. May God keep and comfort you during this time and always. THe Nelson Family

  3. We are all crushed by your loss. Nate has been a fantastic model for me as a friend, father, husband, and doctor. We’re here to help in any way that we can.
    Love,
    Bill, Sarah, Ellen, Lauren, and Eliza

  4. Annette and the Avery family. The loss you are feeling will never leave but his great spirit wonderful personality and smile will always live on in our hearts With love Darcie and family.

    • Joshua, Yira, Caleb Williams
    • Posted August 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm
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    Dear Avery family, our condolences and prayers are with you during these difficult times.

  5. Nate was a true gentleman and it was an honor to have had him as a friend, colleague…

    • David M & Jayne Williams
    • Posted August 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm
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    Our hearts are overwhelmed with sadness. Nate was a truly wonderful person, and we were blessed to know him. Our condolences and love to the entire Avery family. David M & Jayne Williams

    • Stephanie nd joe cordsen
    • Posted August 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm
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    I had the privilege of working with Nate at his page clinic for many years. Though I have not worked there over this past year, I saw Nate just over a month ago and he greeted me as though I saw him just yesterday. He was always so warm and kind to everyone he met. And so down to earth. Not your typical neurosurgeon, he always had a joke and a warm smile. Though I have never met his family I know for sure tht his love for them was unconditional and endless. He spoke highly of his wife and kids, they made him proud. I am deeply saddened by the events that took his life and I pray Gods love will bring comfort to each and every one of his family and friends. That is where I, myself draw strength in times such as these when all we want to know is….why?? Our love and prayers reach out to you through the miles between us. God bless you.

  6. Annette, my dear, dear friend – our entire community grieves with you, Cora, Thad, and Maddox as you process this inconceivable loss of such an amazing person, your Nate, a gift by any measure. No one’s light burned brighter than Nate Avery’s. If he loved, you knew it. If he believed in a cause, you knew it. I will carry Nate’s example of best use of minutes on Earth forward, and I am here for you always. Much love, Sarah, Aaron, Jackson and Grace Ells

  7. Dear Dr Avery’s friends and Family,
    My deepest condolences to you all in this time of need.
    Didn’t to work with Dr. Avery, I used to work for Dr. Bunch
    When he was there he was full of life, not a sad moment, he
    Would laugh about silly stuff him and Dr. Tritle would do.
    He always talked about his family. He will be truly missed,
    Never be forgotten! RIP Dr. Avery.

  8. To the Avery Family: You all are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. May God bless you all in this time of need. Thanks for sharing a wonderful Doctor with all of us!! He was the best!!

  9. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddie-
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this heartbreaking time. Mindy

  10. I am so so very sorry for your loss. And my loss. And Flagstaff’s loss. Please call on me for anything.

    • Dina, Eric, Josh and Caleb Yordy
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:22 am
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,

    We are so sorry and our thoughts and prayers have been with you since we heard. We love you.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that you can find comfort in knowing Nate was loved by many. Our families thoughts and prayers will be with your family in this time of mourning. He will be greatly missed.

  12. Annette my friend-words fail me when I try to express how sad I am for you, Cora, Thad & Maddie. Just simply heartbreaking. I will truly miss the fun comments that came from Nate. Please don’t hesitate to ask for anything. Love to you and the kids.

  13. I can’t imagine what this loss means to your family! Please know that Dr. Avery was deeply appreciated at the hospital. He ALWAYS asked how the staff were doing and his sense of humor kept people laughing in a normally stressful environment. His dedication to this community and to keeping kids happy and healthy was very evident in all that he did. My condolences to you all.

  14. Dear Annette and family,
    We are holding you in our hearts, with love and gentleness, as you face this great sadness and pain.

  15. We had been out of town over the weekend and just heard the terrible news of Nate’s passing. We are saddened and shocked. This is not only a personal loss for family and friends, but also a huge loss for the medical community. We send our condolences. Our hearts are broken!

    • Mark & Bettie Crane
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:16 am
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Maddie & Thad,

    Please accept our condolences. I marvel at the depth of Nate’s love for you, his quick wit and his great devotion to us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Bettie & Mark

    • Alex & Fred Thevenin
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:21 am
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    Dear Annette,

    We are so shocked and saddened for you and your children, not to mention the communities Nate touched so deeply, like ours. If there is anyway we can help, please let us know.

    Alex & Fred

  16. Nate was a role model for me in many ways. A caring, smart, and devoted man in every way. This is a huge loss to our community and he will be greatly missed. Indeed, he was “all that and a bag of chips”, as Annette said.

  17. I’m so sorry to learn of your family’s loss. The medical community will greatly miss Dr. Avery.

  18. Nate was both a friend and a great surgeon. Please accept my deepest condolences for this tremendous loss. He will be missed by so many…

  19. I am so very sorry for your loss, and our loss. I give you my peace.

  20. I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  21. Nate’s passing leaves us all with a deep sense of loss. I feel very privileged to have known Nate at NAU during our undergraduate experience.
    Any time with Nate was quality time. And to spend time with him during his lifetime was both special and transformational.
    His devotion to patients at every turn was a tribute to our medical profession.
    Nate was a magnificent and elegant man who was larger than life in ways that made him remarkable and inspirational to a large circle of people whom he touched during his lifetime.
    Nate’s effervescent personality, keen intellect, gracious bearing, and love of culture and family, and his effortless appreciation of the preciousness of life will remain keenly etched in my mind. I shall treasure that memory. Much Love and Peace to Annette and all of Nate’s Family.
    Sue Sisley

  22. To Annette, Cora, Maddox, and Thad. To Nate’s dad Charles. To Nate’s brother’s Chris and Thad and his sister Maureen. I met Annette and Nate as Annette’s nurse in Labor and delivery. They showed appreciation with such great kindness. I will never forget Nate’s humbleness and his sense of humor,which delights me still. I am so sorry for your loss. Theresa

  23. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie… I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad was such a wonderful man. Words are failing me today. But please know that you are all in my thoughts and heart. Love to you all. -Kristine and Rhys

  24. Such a loss. R.I.P. Nate.

    My condolences to all who loved him.

  25. So, so sorry to hear of your loss. So many people in Flagstaff have been touched and benefited from Nate’s life. My thoughts are with your entire family but especially with Cora, Thad and Mattie. I will continue to hold the daily image of Nate driving by and smiling and waving. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

  26. Annette,
    I’m so sorry for your devastating loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He was such an amazing man.

    • Ann Beck and Jim Novak
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:45 am
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,
    We are so deeply saddened by the loss of Nate. There really are no adequate words at this time. Please call on us at anytime.

  27. We are truly saddened by your loss, our loss, as. We are all one community. We extend our deepest condolence to all of you from California.Be strong.

    Vee Govender.

    • Candyce, Vince & Brandon Martinez
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:02 am
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    I was so sorry to hear of the news Annette. If there is anyway we can be of help to you or your family right now please let me know avl. always. Thank you Nate for your grace, intelligence and enthusiasm in all you have done for Marshall Elementary and the Community. You Truely will be missed.

  28. Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie We are truly heart broken, and saddened by your loss. Your in our thought and Prayers. May the lord bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time.~Freeman Family Monique,Chris(Jarod,Jesse,Jonas)

  29. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Your family is so very loved. Take care and please know we will help in any way. Emma, Dennis, Lindon, and Lodore

    • Laura Fox and Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:18 am
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    Dear Annette and family,
    Words cannot express the sorrow we feel about your incredible loss. Sending love and courage and support your way as you all survive this tragedy. Nate was a wonderful person.
    Love, Laura, Benny, Charlie and Henry

    • Stephanie McCarthy
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:22 am
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    So proud and honored to have had Dr. Avery as my back surgeon. He was amazingly talented, super compassionate and had a great sense of witty humor. I remember him coming to my bedside everyday with a smile and uplifting words.

    I’ll never forget him coming to see me on the Saturday morning before my check out, as he had his car packed up to take his daughter and friends to Lake Powell, celebrating her 13th birthday. My heart goes out to his wife and kiddos. I cannot even imagine the sadness and heartbreak they must feel.

    He saved my quality of life. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of how he has changed so many lives here in his hometown of Flagstaff.

    Thank you Dr. Nate Avery.

    • Sara and Jim Gibson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:30 am
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    We love you and we love Nate, and are holding all of you in our hearts and prayers, walking with you in grief and deep loss.

  30. On behalf of all of us at Mountain Heart we send the Avery and Nicol families their coworkers and friends our sincerest condolences. Our hearts are heavy at this shocking and devastating loss. Dr. Avery – a remarkable man and a great asset to our community.

    • Stve, Jane, Alex and Jake Pavon
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:47 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie
    Our hearts go out to you, Nate was loved by so many people in this community this is a loss that is felt by everyone. Jake and Alex will especially miss “Nater” as they called him. Alex will never forget the day he walked into her knee surgery post op and cheered her up and offered to stand by. What an incredible guy. Our deepest condolences. Please let us know if we can help in anyway.

    Love Steve, Jane, Alex and Jake

    • Laurie Brown and Paul Fader
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:50 am
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    Annette and kids,

    Paul and I are extending our arms in a heartfelt embrace at this time of your loss. I feel so fortunate to have been on that river trip with you and Nate, the Gibsons and the Stillys. I can still see the scene of dancing on the beach to”I like big boats and I cannot lie”. Nate was a large vessel who carried many to new destinations-with his love and generosity and medical skills. He will be missed.
    Laurie and Paul

  31. Annette and kids, Mo, Chad, Chris,

    Nate’s gift to all of us will never be forgotten–his care for my husband during his cancer were unparalleled–he has been generous, caring, spirited, counseling my daughter on her medical pathway, taking us all into the OR to watch surgery, caring for me personally as a patient. Nate had a lust for life. As a close friend of his mom’s, I grieve for her and for all of you and the entire Flagstaff community which is altered permanently by his loss. Love to you all. Liz Grobsmith

  32. Annette and kids, Mo, Thad, Chris,

    Nate’s gift to all of us will never be forgotten–his care for my husband during his cancer were unparalleled–he has been generous, caring, spirited, counseling my daughter on her medical pathway, taking us all into the OR to watch surgery, caring for me personally as a patient. Nate had a lust for life. As a close friend of his mom’s, I grieve for her and for all of you and the entire Flagstaff community which is altered permanently by his loss. Love to you all. Liz Grobsmith

    • Kim Sharp and Curtis Smith
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:09 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie

    We are so so sorry for your loss. Our family is grieving for your family. May you find strength and peace in the days ahead.
    Kim, Curtis, Cole, Oliver & Ben

    • Bob and DiannePatterson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:26 am
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    Our deepest sympathy to you and your extended family for this very sad loss of a truly special individual. You could not know Nate without sensing his connection for how life could and should be lived. He will be deeply missed but his spirit will live on in all who he touched in life. We are here for you if there is anything we can do to help.
    Bob, Dianne and Kyle

    • Joy, Kelly & Jakey Cooper
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:45 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddox, & Avery families-We love you SOOOO MUCH. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    • Stacey and Brian Sindelar
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:47 am
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    I was so sorry to hear about Nate. He was a remarkable person and will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family but especially Annette and the children.

  33. Such a sad and tragic loss of a very special man. My heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones and wishes for strength and peace to sustain you through this difficult time.

  34. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,

    Even though I have never met you, I feel like I know because of the conversations I had with Nate about all of you. I loved seeing your Christmas cards every year.
    My heart hurts so badly for all of you and you have my deepest sympathay. We have all lost a great man.

    Dana

    • christine ameduri, Sara, Anna, Ben Yee
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:50 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    We are so, so sorry. Nate was a beautiful person in so many many ways. We are here for you to help in any way possible. Anna and Ben would like to know how they can help Cora and Thad, and feel very very sad for them. Know that we love you,
    Chris, Sara, Anna, & Ben

    • ashley, rhyan and addison Peak
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:55 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie- You are in so many people’s hearts and prayers. Your husband and father was a most amazing man. He is loved by so many and will truly truly be missed. He was like a big brother to many of us as well as a colleague, mentor, friend and fellow boater! Not sure what God has in store or why this happened… please know peace will come one day. Love to you and we are ALL here for you. Ashley, Rhyan and Addison Peak

  35. Dear Avery Family All,
    Our hearts are with you with your terrible loss. My (Roz) memories go back to Nate’s jr. high years: his pranks and smarts were impressive even then! Our love goes out to all of you.
    Roz & Rich

    • Bill, Jill and family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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    Dearest Annette and sweet kids, Maureen, Chris, and Thad,
    Words cannot express the sadness we feel for you all. It was an honor to call Nate our friend. He will always be remembered and deeply missed. Sending you all love and peace and prayers. Take Special Care. Love, Jill and Bill and family

  36. Dear Annette,Cora,Thad and Maddie,
    I dearly loved your husband and father. He always offered a sincere hug and non-medical humorous down-to-earth conversation when a day at work was filled with everything else but that. He offered a breath of fresh air filling the room with “real”. I am grieving his loss and holding you all in my meditations. Beth Claxton

    • Karen Burner Michul
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm
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    My prayers are with the Avery family during this very difficult time. Nathan was chief resident at UK when I worked in Neurosurgery as a staff assistant. May the Lord be with each of you as you remeber his wonderful life.

  37. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    I just wanted you all to know what a hero your Nate was to me. He always made it so much fun to take care of sick little kids in the O.R. He trusted me implicitly to do my job, and I, him. Even when we were both stressed, we had a great, loving, fun-filled camraderie in the O.R. I loved that he not only delighted in, but encouraged me to create outlandish, whimsical head-wraps for the little babies we operated on. It was good news to be in Nate’s room in the O.R.
    I know you are all reeling from the unreal-ness of his sudden death. There are no words to soften the blow, no magic time machine that could rewind that tape and make it not happen…and it just plain sucks. But one thing I know for sure, and that i hope will bring a bit of peace to you all, is that he KNEW you all loved him, and YOU all know he loved you, too…you guys LIVED it every single day, with humor and bad jokes and time spent under the hood of the big orange truck, and paddling up side canyons on the paddle board, and hauling the kids up slot canyons in their life jackets…his was a LOVE well-lived.
    hugs always.
    michelle, Sean, Evan and Erin

  38. We are so saddened by your tragic loss. I am at a loss for words that can adequately convey our condolences and love. Please know we will be thinking about you and your family, praying that you find comfort in the memories you created together.

    With love and friendship,

    Tracie and Glenn

    • Laura & Brian Tritle
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddy,
    We are heartbroken for you. Nate was an amazing man who touched the lives of so many. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Laura, Brian, Andrew, Lily & Ruby

  39. Dear Avery Family,
    We were so saddened and shocked when we learned of Nate’s passing. Not only an awesome doctor who treated his patients with great respect and care, Nate was truly a good man who cared for others as much as his own family.
    We wish to convey our most heartfelt condolences on your loss.
    Flagstaff has lost one of its most beloved sons and a greatly good man. This is a better place for all of us due to Nate’s being here…and I know we will miss him very much.

  40. Dearest Annette,
    I can not begin to express the sadness in my heart. Nate was such a joy to be around. He was a friend to all. Our time together in Kentucky remains one of my fondest memories. Nate was both a remarkably talented and gifted neurosurgeon, and more importantly, a caring, loving, devoted husband and father. He is one of a kind and his passing will leave a void in all of us. Kim and I will keep you and yours in our thoughts and prayers.
    John Johnson

    • Jill Zurawski and Chuck Cheesman, Casey and Milo
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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    Annette and the Avery Family, we are so sorry and are sending thoughts and love to you. Nate and your family always seemed to be so full of the good stuff that life should be about. He always held your family with him, sharing stories and living in a way that made everyone know that his joy was all about you, even at work. He was someone to look up to and learn from. Our friendship and support go out to you always.

  41. This note is to Chris, the only Avery that I know. I am so sorry to learn of this terrible tragedy in your family’s lives. What an amazing person Nate was to the community, and will forever be to you, his family and many friends and patients whom he has served with passion and grace.

  42. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddy and Avery Family,

    Its hard to grasp the news of sudden absence of Nate from this world from this untimely inconceivable accident.

    May the Universe grant Yourself and Family with the strength to go through this with the guidance from his Soul. His easy going down to earth loving and dedicated personality will be missed and is a huge loss for Flagstaff and its people.

    Nate your will be missed!

    With Prayers to Avery Family.

    • Norbert & Donna Heitmann
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm
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    Dear Annette & family,
    We are so deeply saddened & heart-broken over the loss your dear husband, father, son, & brother…our physician & friend. He cared for my husband almost since the beginning of his career in Flagstaff. What a fine, brilliant, yet humble physician he was. Being in the medical field myself as an RN, I had nothing but the highest respect for him. We will miss his amazing skill as well as his wonderful sense of humor. Just know how much we care, & we hold you ever close in our thoughts & prayers. May God surround you with His comforting arms…

    • Justin and Tischa Erickson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,we are so, so sorry to hear about your tragic loss. We were always impressed at how Nate was great at so many roles – he was an amazing father, friend, doctor, adventurer, and neighbor. We will sure miss the sight of him riding his bike through the neighborhood with a huge smile that exuded love for life. You are in our hearts and prayers. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need anything, anything to help you get through this tough time. Justin, Tischa, and Sofia

    • Keith and Sara Ryan
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddox and Mo,
    We are so saddened for your loss and ours. We will miss his humor, hugs and quirkiness that made Nate one-of-a-kind. Please know we are thinking of you all and here if you need us.
    Keith, Sara, Molly, Alice & Rosie

  43. Truly one of the good guys. My heart goes out to the entire, incredible Avery family. Nate was a huge asset to our community such a compassionate, fun-loving man who will be deeply missed and never forgotten.
    Deanne Despain and family

  44. Dear Avery Family,

    I am so shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. Nate was an amazing person, who had nothing but love for his job and family. He will be truly missed in our lives. My thought and prayers go out to your family.

    • Chris, Becky, Avery and Ainsley Thomas
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddox,
    We love you guys and will miss Nate so much. He touched so many people and we were all lucky to know him and that wonderful smile of his. You are all in our thoughts.
    Chris, Becky, Avery and Ainsley Thomas

    • Sarah Hsia, Kurt Mueller & Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,
    It is overwhelming to know of your loss. The impact is and will reverberate in the community for a long time to come. Nate was such a great colleague and outstanding physician. Loved his humor and genuineness. Our heartfelt thoughts are with you. Sarah, Kurt, Jasmine, Kaylana

  45. Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddie,
    There are no words I have to lighten the pain that you feel. Just know that we are all here, sharing in this great loss and sadness. We will keep you close in our thoughts and prayers. Please call on us for anything–or we will call you! I know Nate was such an amazing spirit and Flagstaff has lost someone truly special. We hope you will feel the warmth of this community around you as you move forward.
    Alan, Jen, Tyler and Molly Vallecorsa

  46. Avery family,
    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I remember after a very busy night, Nate made time to sit down and talk with me about his career and answer the endless amount of questions I had. The advice he gave me four years ago has had a large influence on my college education and one of the reasons I am still pursuing a career in medicine.

    Nate and your family have been so good to ours over the years. My mom holds you all in such high esteem. I am so thankful for the friendship you have given her. The greatest evidence yours and Nate’s character are your children. Each child is warmhearted, gifted, and courteous. They are clear reflections of great parenting and, just like their parents, they bring positivity everywhere they go.

    Nate was a leader in the community, a standard for what fathers should strive to be, a friend to everyone. His generosity, involvement in the school and community and work as a physician are only a few of the ways he has improved the lives of those around him. His influence is profound and will continue to shine through his children. Flagstaff is a better place because of Nate Avery and we are all grateful to have known him.

    • Josh and Melissa Armstrong
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm
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    Avery family, We are so very saddened by your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. If there is anything at all we can do to help please do not hesitate to call on us.
    Josh, Melissa, Kambria, and Kendra

    • elenakirschner@yahoo.com
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm
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    Dear Annette- what can one say? My heart is breaking for you and for the giant, huge, undescribable loss we all feel. I love you and hold you in my heart. Elena

  47. I am so saddened to hear of Nate’s death. He was a remarkable man and I am thankful for the time during medical school that I got to know him. My deepest condolescences to his family.

    • Eloise & Dick Harris
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie, Gay and Chuck,

    Such wonderful comments are already posted! Please know we love you and are keeping you in our hearts and thoughts through this sorrowful time.

    • Jack and Janean Quigley
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm
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    Avery family,
    We are stunned and deeply saddened for your loss. Nate is so special. We will never forget him or the way he lived, worked and played with gusto. You all are a great example of how to live and love.
    Love and sympathy
    Quigley family

    • Phil, Brenda and Connor Garrod
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie. We’re so saddened by the sudden loss of your loving husband and father, Nate. He was a wonderful guy and the one I trusted to do my surgery. I’ll remember fun times we had together. Please accept our condolences, thoughts and prayers.

  48. Local folks, there is an altar taking form with offerings of flowers and candles at Neurosurgical Specialists at 150 N Verde St (Corner of Verde and Birch)
    Flowers and notes are appearing on the doorstep.
    Please don’t disturb the staff inside the building.

  49. Avery family,

    We are deeply saddened by your loss and our thoughts go out to you with Nate’s passing. May peace be with you. I will always cherish the days I was able to be a part of Nate’s life while he was in Tucson for medical school and then seeing him with my family while he did his residency in Kentucky.

    Though our kids have never met yours, I have told them all about the incredible man Nate was, and ever remains, in our hearts.

    Rob, Heather, Alex, & Ciara

  50. Dear Annette, Thinking of you and the kids and remembering Flagstaff/NAU moments. There will never be another like Nate. I am so sorry for your great loss, for society’s great loss. All my love and best wishes for peace and comfort. Leeann

  51. Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie – Having had a chance to get to know you all, and having known Nate as a skier, father, and gentleman – I have been truly fortunate to know people who love, live, and have fun in a great way. With all love and sympathy, David, Stephanie, Jordan, Lilly, and DJ Hartman

    • Tammy (Paulk) Whitworth
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm
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    Bless you during this time of deep loss. Lifting you up in k-prayers, Tammy

  52. I praise God for the life that Dr. Avery led. I did not know him but from what I have read of him, he was a magnificent person who effected a positive change in the lives of people he met. It is a great loss to the world. I pray that Dr. Avery’s good spirit will continue to live on in the lives of his family and everyone he came in contact with. May his family be comforted and strengthened through all…Amen!
    Love,
    Blessing

  53. Nate is an awesome personfriend and brother sure had a lot
    Of awesome times I will miss you my whole family will miss you nate
    for the awesome Avery family my deepest condolences
    And sorrow to all of you. For your loss ..Shane and parents reef and Nina kelly

    • John and Kristy Marvel
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie- We are saddened to hear about your loss. He was such an amazing husband, father, doctor and community member. John always LOVED working with him. John even loved going to soccer when Nate was his coach. He made it so fun for the kids. Please know our hearts break for you and all of your family. John, Kristy, John, and Nathan Marvel

  54. Avery Family,

    It is with profound regret and deep sadness that I write these words. Nate is the reason I am a neurosurgeon today. He taught me how to speak to patients more than any other person. He took me under his wing and became a fast friend. I always enjoyed a story or an idea from Nathan’s perspective. Such a blessing to have known him and his wit.

    To Annette – thanks for sharing him with the rest of us. He spoke of you almost every time I saw him and loved you dearly.

    To Cora, Thad and Maddie – your dad is one of the finest people I have ever met.

    My deepest condolences.

    Jay Cole

  55. I only knew Nate for a little over a year but am extremely saddened by his passing. He was such a kind, funny, and giving person. He was one of a kind.

  56. Annette,

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your husband. He was a remarkable man. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Kimberly

  57. This sad news is still unbelievable to me. Nate will be remembered by so many people for so many things. He gave himself. We send all our love and prayers to Nate’s family. Nate will be missed but never forgotten.

  58. We are so sorry for your loss. Nate was an excellent surgeon and person. He was always happy and lit up our days with his jokes and amazing rap/singing skills! We will miss his presence in all our lives. Thoughts and prayers to his family and our community.

    • Charlie and Sara Enochs
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,

    We are absolutely crushed to hear of your loss. Nate was one of the most generous and sincere people I have ever met and he had a positive impact on everyone who knew him. If there is anything we can do for you guys let us know and we will be there.

    With all our love and sympathy,
    Charlie, Sara, Charlie, James, Ben and Ava Enochs

  59. I had the privilege of working with Nate in Utah when he did his fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery in our department. He always came back to say hi whenever he was in Salt Lake City. He was so funny and fun to be around. His passing is such a loss and my heart breaks for his family. His zest for life and pride in his family will always be an inspiration. My thoughts are with you. Patty Mavor

  60. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers! Nate was and will always be a great man!

    • Kathy and Ken Ketter
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm
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    Dear Annette and family,

    We were saddened to hear of your loss. We will keep you in our prayers and thoughts. May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead. Kathy

  61. Dear Avery Family:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Sincerely, Ms. Walters

  62. Such deep sadness learning of this tragic news this AM. Nate was one of those special guys that made everyone smile, and what an easy person to look up to and to be impressed by. The loss to his family and the community will not be able to be repaired. God Bless Nate and all who loved him.

    • Tom,Lela,Parker,Austin,& Peg
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm
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    Avery gang, you all know how very much we love you.

    • Rebecca and Dustin Blodgett
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,

    We are heartbroken over the loss of Nate. People like him do not come along very often and Dustin and I are just so grateful our paths crossed with Nate and his amazing family. We were just talking about what genuinely wonderful people you all are, just the other night. We are eternally grateful for his friendship, and Dane and Soren will hear great stories of this man who threatened to kidnap them and take them to Vegas. His sense of humor will be missed. Please know we are thinking of you and our hearts break with yours.
    All our love,
    Becky, Dustin, Dane and Soren

  63. Dear Avery Family
    I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Nate in the ICU. He always brought a smile to so many faces and taught so much to the staff. I have worked with many Neurosurgeons around the country and Nate was one of kind. He was one of the most laid back, graceful, respectful and talented doctor and friend i have worked with. He was also a friend outside the hospital for me. I will miss him, FMC will miss him and the community will miss him. But we will give his life honor by living it to the fullest and sing so many silly songs just as he did. Amy Nunemaker

    • Nancy & Bruce Helin
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm
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    Dear Beautiful Annette and Family,

    Our hearts, broken as they are, go out to you… and to the extended communities Nate served with such generosity, humor, presence, intelligence, joy and humility. It was our great privilege to receive his help in our times of need, and it is our heartfelt intention to follow his lead and “pay it forward”… His life touched so many so deeply – Nate will continue to inspire everyone who had the good fortune to know him. It may be little solace, but may you feel some comfort from all the love flowing to you…

    HUGS, Nancy and Bruce

  64. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,and All

    A light has gone out with Nate’ passing. He was so very in love with you all. Our vision of him will be the look of utter content he had when talking of his family.
    He grounded this community and we are blessed to have had him in our lives. Thank you for sharing him with us. Words can not express how much he will be missed.

  65. May Nate’s memory be a blessing to us all. Forever in our hearts. We are so very blessed to have called him our friend. Love to you all. G,S,M,B & D.

    • Beth and David A. Williams
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm
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    Annette and family,
    We are deeply saddened and extend our sincere condolences. You all are in our thoughts and our prayers.

    Nate’s death is a significant loss not only to those of us who knew him but to all of Flagstaff and beyond.
    Beth and David

    • Tom and Becky Becherer
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:32 pm
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    Annette,

    Words truly can not express our heartbreak for the loss of Nate – a truly amazing guy, admired and respected by everyone. In a residency environment where we were meant to learn from each other, we all learned many more life lessons from our friendship and, in reality, our brotherhood with Nate. He will continue to inspire us all to live life to the fullest. We love you.

    Becky and Tom

  66. Dear Annette (Netter), Cora, Thad, Maddie, and Avery family: My heart hurts for you and your family right now. No words can express how I feel upon hearing about the loss of Nate. He was a “cool” guy with such a zest for life and a sense of humor that was over the top. He will be so missed by so many. Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. God bless. Keith

    • Rick, Yvonne, Samantha, and Madison Valdes
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm
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    Maureen, Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddox and family,

    We too are so deeply devastated, shocked, and saddened by Nate’s passing. We will truly miss him so much!
    We will always remember and cherish fun times with him and Annette; river running, working at FMC with him, school activities, etc. We remember being at your amazing wedding and celebration.
    His legacy as a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, surgeon, and friend will live on forever.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God give you strength.
    Please let us know if we can help you with anything.
    Love, your friends, Rick, Yvonne, Samantha, and Madison Valdes

  67. To the entire Avery clan, especially Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,

    Words fail me at the awful news of Nate’s untimely death. My heart breaks for you and all of us who loved Nate, remembering the good humor, kindness, and generous spirit he brought to our lives. I wish I could be with you all for his memorial, and I am praying for comfort as you celebrate his life and grapple with his loss. Love to you, enormous hugs,
    Jeannine

    • Sharon Masek Lopez, Roy, Gabe and Andrea Lopez
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm
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    Annette,
    Was so sad to hear the news. Thinking of you often. Although I did not know Nate well, it was so clear he was a rare and extraordinary human being. Will never forget watching him surgically remove a pyrocanthus tree with a backhoe at Marshall School.
    Gabe and Andrea send their regards to Cora and her siblings.
    Wishing you solace. Let us know if we can help somehow.

  68. Nate, I can’t believe you’re gone. My kids adored you, Dave loved talking about physiology with you, I loved all your inappropriate comments, especially the GLM thing. You made us laugh and you comforted us when there was a scary trip to the ER. I don’t know that I ever said thank you enough. I’ll miss you and your relentless positivity. No, it just can’t be true that you’re gone.

    • Gina, Bob and Adelaide Hart
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm
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    Dear Avery Clan,

    Our hearts are deeply saddened. Nate was one of many mentors encouraging me to pursue medical school when I was a tech in the ED in Flagstaff. I’m now mid-residency in Pennsylvania. Bob and I are fondly recalling kind words Nate shared on several occasions with both of us. We send love to your family from ours.

    • Char, Bill, Marley & Grace Tomlinson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm
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    Dearest Avery Family,
    Our family mourns with you. The entire Marshall community mourns with you. We are here for you. Anytime, anywhere, anything. We love you!

  69. Annette,Cora, Thad and Maddi
    I am so very sorry. I understand the state of shock you all must feel. Nate was a remarkable man and I am so much the better for having known him and his family. All of you helped me so much through/with the loss of Megan. I only know that in the weeks and months to come, when things in the real world seem to get back on tack, it will not feel that way to you. Please let me be there for you to help in anyway I can. I send my love and prayers, Page

  70. We are so very sad over the loss of Nate. He is irreplaceable. I will miss his gentle kindness and good nature, his sense of humor, and some of his cowboy songs.I enjoyed seeing him at the beginning of the day with his crazy distractions. He always had some great story to share or something funny from you-tube. He worked hard and played hard. We remember that one time he shared that if something happened to him that we just go to Sportsmens and have a couple of PBRs.Sometimes he would bring Maddie into work and be carring her on his shoulder. He loved you all so very much. He was so important to all of us. He saved many lives. You all are in our prayers. Please know how much we all care and will miss Nate. He blessed us in so many ways.
    Love Remains,
    Al and Marla

  71. I feel privileged to have been a small part of the Avery familys life. I knew Nate as a small child, and later I worked with him in the hospital. He always made me feel comfortable, loved and remembered. He shared his family with my family and I have very fond memories of the few times we got together. Annette, you are amazing. The first time I met you I marveled at how down to earth and beautiful you carried your self. My heart aches for you and for your children. He left you with a lovely family and I pray that there will be sunshine in your future. My prayers are for your comfort. I look forward to a heavenly reunion with Nate some day! Aloha.

  72. Dr. Avery has literally saved our son, Brit’s, life several times. He was as surprised as we were that Brit survived some of his shunt failures and we will never forget him. God gave him a life saving skill and ability and our hearts are breaking for such a tragic loss. Our prayers are with all friends and family of such a loved and talented man.

  73. Annette, kids and family, I am so sorry for you loss, Nate was a wonderful human being and I will miss my friend. I really do mean it when I say he was my superhero.

    • Jenny Baker and Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,
    Our hearts go out to you and our prayers are with you for your family’s loss. Flagstaff has lost a true native son and hero. May God bless and keep you always
    Jenny Baker

    • Cindy and Travis Knoll
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm
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    Dear Annette and family,

    We wish to express our deepest sympathy for your loss. I am privileged to have been able to work for him. He was always cheerful and very thoughtful of others. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. – Cindy and Travis Knoll

  74. All of Flagstaff has lost one of its finest citizens. For Northern Arizona University there is a recognition that we have lost one of our finest alumni. Our condolences go to the Avery family.

  75. To all of Nate’s extended family –

    Our hearts and thoughts to and for you about Nate. The Averys and Nate are such a wonderful part of Flagstaff, emptier now that Nate’s gone. Remember all the good times and love.

    ML and Q

    • Thomas and Simmons Anderson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm
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    Annette,

    We will never meet a more joyful, caring human being than Nate. Though my sadness is as profound as it has ever been, I cannot suppress the smile that comes when I think of your husband. We were all blessed to know him.

    Please let us know if there is anything Simmons and I can do.

    Thomas

  76. Dear Avery Family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss! My heart goes out to you. May God be with you and comfort you during this difficult time.

    • Colleen Plemmons, R.N.
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm
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    Dear Avery family, I was shocked and saddened to hear of Dr. Avery’s death when I came to work yesterday morning here at the hospital in the Patient Placement Center, you would know us as One-Call, occassionally calling your home looking for Dr. Avery, often interrupting your sleep on the nights he was on call. Dr. Avery was always courteous no matter when I called, no matter what time I disturbed him. I am envious of all the people he touched in person, because I didn’t get to see that funny side of him so many write about. My deepest sympathy at your loss. One-Call Colleen

    • The Openshaw Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm
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    Annette, Thad, Cora and Maddox: Cannot explain the sense of denial I had when I heard the news yesterday, and then I kept waking up all night long and remembering and my heart would break for you all over again.
    I am so very sorry for your loss. It is amazing to see all the love letters that people have poured out on this website in such a short time. Wow, was Nate loved. I will miss his sense of humor and seeing him here at the hospital. We have all been robbed of an incredible person who possessed incredible talent. All our best wishes to you in this difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do for you. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~The Openshaws (Keli, Sean, Kyle and Kayden)

    • Gloria and Andy Keef
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm
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    Your are going to be greatly missed by everyone. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone you came in contact with, especially your family.

    • Carol Merritt,R.N.
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm
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    Annette & Family, I’m so sorry for your sudden loss. He will be missed greatly by this community! What a joyful, caring & healing person Nate was!!! Prayers & healing to all of you!

  77. We are very sorry for your loss. Nate touched so many lives, and he will be missed by all of them.
    -Rick, Michelle, Fiona, April and Rosa

    • Todd and Rebecca Sayers
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm
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    Chuck, Maureen, and your entire family – we are so sorry for your loss. We didn’t get to know Nate, but we heard about him through you two – so much that I almost felt like we did know him. You are such a special family and we will never forget the kindness you have bestowed on us over the years. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    ~ Rebecca and Todd

    • Mickey and Michelle Abeshaus
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm
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    To all the Averys and Nate’s friends everywhere,
    We are so, so sorry for your loss. Nate gave us all countless happy moments and smiles. I remember most that little grin that always made one think he knew something special. And he did. He knew how to live – and to love. He is deeply missed.

    • Paul and Carole Ferlazzo
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm
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    We are so sorry to hear about Nate’s death, an important member of the Flagstaff community, and send our prayers and condolences to the entire family, with a personal note of sympathy to Chuck and Maureen. Paul and Carole Ferlazzo

  78. Avery family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Dr. Avery was a great man, he saved so many lives.He helped many continue on with their lives and if it was not for him I would not be here today pursuing my goals.He will always be remembered and loved by many!

  79. Nate and his gentle, humorous presence will be missed. He always had a hug, grin or greeting for everyone. At times there was even a quirky song that you were not completely sure was made up or not!? He never appeared rushed or in a hurry; he gave his undivided attention to the many that demanded it without a hint of bother. His absence will have far reaching impact. There will be many condolences to your family from those you have never met or heard of….it is sincere. I am so sorry and heartbroken for Nate’s wife, children, family and close friends.

  80. Avery Family,

    So very saddened of your loss. This town truely knows how to represent one of our own. A spectacular Neurosurgeon and incredible asset to our community. Dr. Avery gave so much compassion and on so many levels, by far he has been a hero to many families.

    We are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

    ~The Shearon Family

  81. Annette, Cora, Thad, & Maddie,
    I was crushed when Chris told me about Nate. I am heartbroken for your family and wish I was there to offer more support right now. I’ll always remember Nate as a funny, charming, & kind man. Know that we’re sending our love, thoughts, and prayers to you all.
    Love to your family always,
    Ms. Molly

  82. This is unreal. I am so very sorry, Avery family. He was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind man. He saved me from a lifetime of injury and pain and I am eternally grateful. There is so much love surrounding all of you now.

  83. Dear Annette and family,
    I am so sorry for your sudden loss. Our love and prayers are with you. May God bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you and give you peace. Please do not hesitate to call me should you need anything.
    Love,
    Christina Janeway and family

    • Danielle & BJ Dempsey
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    There are so many instances that come to mind when I think of Dr Avery. His money lectures, inappropriate CD’s when patients were gone and we can’t forget the dancing. He was so full of life and love for his family, his patients and his employee’s! He will always be a man that will never be forgotten. I am lucky to have had the honor to have work with him and met all of you as well. My heart is broken. All our love, BJ & Danielle

  84. Dr. Avery saved my life. I am currently recovering from a spinal cord injury and is just beginning to walk again, thanks to Dr. Avery. I cannot fathom this sudden event and once again ( since my own accident ) am searching for strength to come to terms with great loss, except that this time I am far from alone. Here I hope to pay my tribute to Dr. Avery, for his exceptional skills, contribution, character, integrity, stamina and sense of humor. While still recovering, I now tell myself to carry on with strength and not disappoint him. Me and my sister wish to send our love, thoughts and prayers to the Avery family.

    • Ken and Tammy Lester
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm
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    Annette and Avery family,

    What an incredible person Dr. Avery was, how can one person make so many people feel so special. That was Dr. Avery…..I will miss his beautiful smile and his teasing about he was going to the lake and I wasn’t. In fact Thursday we had that exact conversation. He brought so much joy to the OR, frequently staff would barter back and forth to see who was going to get to work with him.

    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie, your Dad and Husband always talked highly of what joy you brought to him. My sorrow and sadness for you at this time no words can speak. Know that many are sending there love, thoughts and prayers to you all.

    Dr. Avery you will be so missed!

    Love to the Avery family,
    Lester’s

  85. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Nate’s passing. I have many fond memories from our time together as classmates in medical school. What a terrible loss for his family and community. My thoughts are with his family.

  86. Dear Avery Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked with Nate in the ICU. He was such an amazing man and surgeon. I am a tech but he never treated me like an inferior. I will miss him stealing my pens, coming into the unit and singing some funny song and showing us his silly youtube video’s. He could always make me laugh. He will be missed greatly. I am so lucky to have known him and learned from him. My heart is broken.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of need.
    With love,
    Natalie

  87. Dear Annette and family,

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Nate was an incredible guy. He taught me a lot about neurosurgery during residency, but so much more about life. Of all the people I know, Nate lived life to the fullest. I have no doubt that Nate’s only regret would be not having more time with you all. April and I will keep you and your family in our prayers.

    Thad

  88. We love you Avery family. Nate will always be a hero to us and we are so blessed to have known him. He will be in our hearts forever, as will all of you.

    • Kristine And Jeff Downard
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm
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    Dear Annette and family,
    Our hearts are breaking with yours. If there is ANYTHING you need please let us know. Love to your entire family and RIP Nate.

  89. To the Avery family I don’t know, and to Chris, whom I do,

    I am so so sad to hear. I didn’t know Nate well, but I recognize him in these notes from the community he is loved by. Around Flagstaff and when I poured coffee at FMC, he was the doctor with the wit so dry you had to listen twice, the kind and mischievious smile, and the time for humanity and shared stories of the river. Chris and all of you, I’m so sorry for your loss, and will be thinking of you.

    Jocelyn

  90. Dear Avery Family,
    We are heart broken over this news and want you to know you are all in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. I first met Dr.Avery when I was in high school, he performed life saving surgery on my best friend and gave him a second chance at life. I even remember then how caring he was. Now working in the ICU as an RN I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Avery and always enjoyed having him around the unit and listening to him sing songs on his phone. He always made everyone laugh and was a great person. -Brian & Kim Bohn.

  91. Annette and family,
    Nate was so special. Hilarious, insightful, brilliant, calming, cool and now so very missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    John, Karin, Johnathan and Jake

  92. Avery family, so truly sorry for your unimaginable heartache. Please know that so much love is being sent to all of you…BJ, Jill, Anna, Hailey and Ellen

  93. Dear Cora and the rest of the family,
    Dr. Avery was amazing. I didn’t know him all that well, but he was always so nice to me. My entire family was horrified at the news of his death and we will always remember him. He absolutely adored his family and cherished his friends. Cora, I’ll always be there for you if you need someone to lean on. love, Hazel and family.

    • Shelly Thomas and Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm
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    Dear Avery family,

    Our hearts go out to you all. Know that this wonderful community in Flagstaff is so grateful for all Dr. Avery gave. We all embrace you and hold you in our hearts.
    Shelly, Laurie, and Sam

    • Merk and Scott Perelstein
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm
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    Annette and family,
    Our hearts are so heavy as we try to wrap our minds around such a deep and profound loss. I’m sending loving thoughts to Nate during his transition and to you all- his family and friends- to find peace when it seems to have momentarily left Flagstaff. Pull the love you find here around yourselves like a warm blanket. We’re here for you.
    So much love and so many blessings,
    Merk, Scott, Ethan and Finn

  94. My condolences for the family and friends. Dr Avery will be missed by the families he helped and the many colleagues he had in Northern Arizona. Our hearts are saddened by this tragic loss.
    Thank you Dr Avery for all of the help in the past.
    We will miss you and your talent.

    Scott Sadler PA-C
    Encompass Health Services
    Page, AZ

    • Mary Williams & Chris McIntosh
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm
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    Dear Annette,
    You know how many hearts are breaking over the loss of such an amazing person. All of us were blessed to have know Nate — even a small way. To have travelled in his life’s sphere is an honor. We will sadly be out of town next weekend but know the celebration of Nate will be an extraordinary one. You and your family are in our thoughts at this saddest of times.

  95. Annette, my heart and thoughts are with you and your kids at this difficult time. I hope your strength, joy for living, memories, and time help you heal and move forward.
    With greatest sympathies,
    Becky

  96. Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie Mo,
    My heart is broken for your family. I will pray for strength and healing. Cora always had a funny story to share with me about her father, and they were always told with love and so much pride. Cora, I hope you continue your stories always. You Marshall family is here for you.
    Andrea Shaw

  97. Annette,
    My heart aches for your loss. Nate’s passing leaves such a hole in our community. My thoughts are with you and your children, may love, peace and strength be your constant companions as you navigate through this time and into the future. There is so much love coming to you all from so many. Many blessings. I am so deeply sorry this has happened.
    Jess

  98. My condolences to Annette and family. I am truly saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Nate. He was such a positive force in our community. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Patrice Horstman

    • Chris and Brenda Linskey
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm
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    Though we are aware that no words can accurately convey your profound sense of loss, please know how greatly saddened we all are at the loss of such an amazing member of our community. His passing reminds us of the preciousness of each day and heightens the senses as we notice with new eyes the many blessings we take for granted everyday. Please know you are all in our thoughts during this most difficult time. Grieve him well, as he was well loved.

    • Stefanie and Tommy Lee Perkins
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm
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    Annette and family,
    Tommy and I were very saddened to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Flagstaff has lost a great man!!!

    • tara gordon and family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm
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    He was a great man, who did great things, with great love. He will be painfully missed.

  99. To the Avery Family,
    My heart is heavy with sadness about the loss of Nate. He was a gifted healer to many, myself included and I will be forever grateful. He put me so at ease with his kindness and humor, and anytime I saw him after my surgery he always remembered me and made a point to greet me. He was one of the most genuine people I have ever met. I feel a better person for having crossed paths with him. My prayer for your family is that you will experience the same healing as you journey through your loss.

  100. Annette, We love you. We will always be grateful to Nate and you for opening your hearts to Allie the minute she moved to Flagstaff. We are simply heartbroken for you and share in your sorrow.
    Beth and Paul

    • Karen and Andrew Saal
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm
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    Dear Annette and Family,
    We are devastated by your tragic loss, and pray that your path forward will be lit by the memories of one the most extraordinary persons that we have ever known. Please know that you are all in our prayers.
    Karen and Andrew Saal
    Burlington, VT

  101. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Avery on occasion while I worked at Flagstaff Medical Center from 2007 to Feb. 2009. He was a kind and generous soul with great patience and understanding. Many a time he would make the effort to explain complicated procedures and care to his patients, their families and staff. He was an exceptional teacher. I now work at an outpost Nursing Station, in the sub arctic, Canada. On many occasions I have had to rely on the information that Dr. Avery so diligently taught me. He was a wonderful physician and teacher. It saddens me to hear he has passed away. My heart goes out to his family and friends. God Bless.

    • Steve & Lynnette Johnson
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm
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    We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic loss. Our thoughts are with all of you, may you find strength in the love that surrounds all of you.

  102. My heart and prayers go out to all the Avery family! I was so sad when I heard the news of Dr. Avery. I hope that you can find comfort in the love you have for each other and lean on the incredible people who love you all and who loved Nate. Peace be with you:)

  103. Dear Avery Family,

    I am so sad to learn of your loss. I will ever be grateful for the role Dr. Avery played in my life. In 2003 I was in a car accident outside Flagstaff and Dr. Avery was on duty that night at the hospital. I’ve always felt like he was there for a reason when my accident happened because he treated me so well and I know my life would not be the same if he had not been my doctor. He also performed the spinal fusion surgery I had in 2004. That surgery changed my life for the best. I know I would not be in as good of condition as I am now if he had not performed this surgery for me. Because of that surgery, I was able to finish college, meet my husband, and have a child. My life would not be the same without Dr. Avery.

    My heart and prayers go out to you all.

  104. Dr. Avery helped my friend, Cece, navigate the horrible consequences of her brain cancer. I remember several very tearful office visits where Dr Avery in his most human and non-robotic way talked us through the crisis of the day. I remember how gentle he was with my dear friend and with me. Thank you for your commitment and kindness, Dr. Avery. Your unexpected and untimely departure from this world leaves us all a bit speechless and quite sad. My condolences to your family for their loss.

  105. So very sorry for your loss. Dr. Avery was always so friendly and approachable when I worked at FMC. I’ll always remember how he went out of his way to say hello.

    • Becky & Chris Pomeroy
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddie, We are heartbroken for you. There are no words. our sorrow is deep. profound love, Becky, Chris & Honor

    • Sherry Schultz and Michael Cazares
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm
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    To the family of Nate Avery:
    I cannot begin to tell you what Nate meant to us at Flagstaff Medical Center. You have so very many reasons to know your dad and husband was the best of the best. He was a great mentor and advocate for his colleagues and patients. His smile was beautiful and his sense of humor made going to work fun. I will never forget him and his legend will carry on forever. He is a Flagstaff hero and I cannot believe this tragedy has happened. We are all walking around in disbelief. We are praying for your comfort and that eventually we will be able to make sense of this sad, sad day.

  106. Dr. Avery a kind, patient and heart warming individual. He simply had a special way about him that made every visit your own and all questions were taken seriously and answered completely no matter what else was on the agenda for the day. Dr. Avery made you feel valued and respected as both a patient and a person. Such a loss and when my husband and I mention his name, we will forever remember his gentle nature and time he devoted to our health and wellbeing.

  107. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie and Family,

    Words simply cannot express how sad and devastated we are to hear of Nate’s passing. We consider ourselves so fortunate to have known him. He was a wonderful colleague, friend and person. We will miss his wisdom and wry sense of humor. Flagstaff won’t be the same. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Love, Rob, Alice, Jack, Dan and Grant

  108. My thoughts and prAyers are with your family. Debbie Bostrom.

    • Jim and Suzie Wilkerson family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm
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    Annette and the rest of the Avery Family. You are in our hearts and prayers as we have grand memories that we will never forget about your wonderful husband. What a tragic loss. There are people that do great things in this world, he was one of them.

    Love to all
    Jim and Suzie Kay and Mel

    • Don and Jeanette Baker
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm
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    Annette, We will keep you and the kids in our hearts. Love and deepest sympathy to you and the whole family.

  109. Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie and the whole Avery family—We still can not believe this is real. Our hearts go out to all of you, you are in our thoughts and prayers–Frank, Jean, Chris, Catie, and Becca

    • Jamie, Trujillo and Jazzy Esplain with Yazzie Brown and family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddox and family,
    My family and I are heartbroken over your husband/father/brother/son’s passing. I know that he was the world to you and you to him. We have not had the privilege of meeting you but we would like to bring you comfort in knowing that he was very special to us. He was our beloved Dr. Avery. We first met him in the frenzy of the ER of FMC in Oct. 2010. Amid the many questions and unknowns that filled my (Jamie) mind, it was his readily apparent competence, down-to-earth nature, gentle reassurance and humor that gave me a deep sense of ease regarding my mom’s impending head surgery. I knew that he was truly a blessing sent to us from our good and gracious God. With his caring, graceful and highly competent hands, he restored my mom, Yazzie’s, life and gave my family and me a second chance with her. I suspected that he had a superhero cape hidden beneath his scrubs because he was just that to us…our hero. We will be forever grateful to him and are thankful that we had the chance to express our gratitude to him as often as we could. We also quickly learned that, not only was he a highly competent and capable neurosurgeon, but he was also a very kind and caring person; one who related to us easily and without hesitation. He treated us, especially my mom, like family. He would ask me to tell my mom (she speaks only Navajo) that she’s as cute as a button. He always brought a smile to our faces when we saw him or thought of him, especially when he greeted us with a “hey, kids”. During follow-up visits for my mom, he would play with my daughter Jazzy and carry her in his arms. It was truly a privilege and honor to know him. He was surely one-of-a-kind and we will miss him deeply. I am sure that we only feel the tip of the iceberg of the pain and loss that you feel. We are so sorry that his time to leave came so soon and suddenly. We are lifting your family up in prayer for God’s comfort and peace.
    Many hugs, thoughts and prayers from our family to yours,
    Jamie, Trujillo and Jazzy Esplain with Yazzie Brown and family

    Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you;”

    • Carrie Besnette Hauser
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm
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    With deep condolences to Annette and the kids. And, to siblings Thad, Chris, and Mo, I am so sorry you have lost your brother. I am thinking of each of you as well. Many the many memories and love sustain you in the days ahead. Carrie

  110. I went to NAU with Nate a lifetime ago. I always wondered if he accomplished his dreams of becoming a doctor. I am thrilled that he achieved this and so much more. I am in shock at the news I have just read. My heart goes out to your family.

  111. To Dr. Avery’s family,

    I want you all to know that Dr. Avery is literally the reason I am here writing this message now. He has saved my life several times over the past 7 years. I and my family owe him a debt that I can not begin to express. After a close-call surgery or during a follow up appointment I would always tell him thanks for saving my life but I don’t think he really every understood how much he meant to me and my family. I regret that I never got to really express to him how much he meant to us. I realize especially as the tears of my grief fall that he was more than just a doctor to me, he was my friend. My heart goes out to the Avery Family. Good bye, Doc.

    • Michael Skaggs and Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm
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    Avery Family,
    We are deeply saddened by this devastating loss. Nate touched so many people, from his patients to anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He was greatly admired both personally and professionally. His compassion for those he cared for was and always will be inspiring. Flagstaff was blessed to have him and will forever miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Michael, Aubrey, Dylan, Soren, and Aviana Skaggs

  112. Dear Avery family,

    My heart goes out to you in this time of loss. I have had the pleasure like so many others in Flagstaff to have had Dr. Avery as my doctor. I can only agree with everyone else that he was a compassionate man who was looked up to by so many in our community. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Lee Irby

  113. To all of the Avery’s our heartfelt condolences. What a tragic loss that cuts deeply in all of us. His spirit lives on in all he touched. Peace, Wayne and Helen

    • Robbin and Steve Boadway
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm
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    Dear Annette and family;
    We were so very shocked and deeply saddened to hear of your tragic loss. Nate was a special man who touched and healed so many – we are forever grateful to the both of you for the special care you gave to Steve. May happy memories bring you some peace during this difficult time – you are in our thoughts!
    With deepest sympathy,
    Robbin and Steve

  114. My thoughts are with all of you. This loss is truly tragic in so many ways. You have a strong community that will always be here to remind you what an amazing, talented, strong, thoughtful, kind, and lovely man walked on this planet and touched so many lives. Never forget, and we will always help you all remember.

  115. Condolences to the Avery family. My experience working with Dr. Avery at FMC ICU has been nothing but educational and enjoyable. It is a deeply sad loss to the community. I still do not know how to feel about it. I am shocked, sad, and horrified. We have lost a real hero and will never be the same.

    • Tim and Kathie Quigley
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm
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    Avery Family,
    We are completely at a loss for words. Dr. Avery touched so many of our best friends lives in so many positive ways. There will be a hole in all of our hearts for a long time. Reading through the commments made us realize, again, how great of a community Flagstaff really is. May you all find peace in your hearts through the love that this community shares.

    Tim and Kathie

    • Cynthia, Peter and Sarah Kosso
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm
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    Dear Avery families and friends,

    What a terrible loss for everyone and shockingly unexpected. Our thoughts and love are with you all in this terrible time and forever.

    You know you can call on us!

    With deepest sympathy and affection,

    The Kossos

  116. Words cannot begin to express my deepest sympathies for the Avery family. I had the great fortune to be referred to Dr Avery about one year ago. In just one short year…there are three things I know without a doubt….he was an amazing doctor, he was the kindest, warmest man with a great sense of humor….and he loved his family.

    As much as I hated being in pain….I loved going to my doctor’s appointments. He made everything better.

  117. Dear Avery Family,
    Although we never had the honor of meeting “the amazing” family, we would like to express our gratitude to you for sharing this amazing man with me and my family…I will never forget November 28th, 2009, when my brother was in an accident on I-17, and it is because of Dr. Avery, I have a second chance with him! He brought so much strength and guidence to me and my family, at one of the most difficult times of our lives, when our minds were so clouded and filled with so many questions and unknowns. As we had no clue as to what each and every passing minute was going to bring,the “amazing” Dr. Avery was always there with his kind words, positive smile and a calmness that all was well and was going to continue to be well, even when we doubted the most. For this I say, thank you for sharing this man with so many, he has touched the hearts of us all and will be greatly missed…My family and I will forever be grateful to this amazing man and all he has given to us and our community. As much as our hearts are heavy, I am sure we can not even begin to feel the void that has been placed in your lives, it looks like he touched the hearts of many and will be greatly missed by many more…holding you and your family close to our hearts, and praying that all your memories will bring you peace and comfort on the difficult road ahead.
    Love, Walter, Melanie and Kaden

    • Sean, Gina, Areya and Hunter Kugler
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm
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    We are very sad to hear about your loss. Our thoughts and prayers go to all of you.

  118. Dear Annette, Flagstaff just got a little smaller and a little darker, and a little less special. I am so very sorry for your loss, and our loss as a community. There are no words, but I hope that you find some measure of comfort in the coming days, knowing how much the community loves all of you.

    • Mary Taylor Miller
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm
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    All through school, I was sandwiched age wise between Maureen and Nate and always admired both so very much … when we were young, I remember that Nate loved birds … growing up by high school time, he was always a source of light and cheer in an otherwise often awkward place … beyond high school, bumping into Nate during visits home was always a joy … all love, home, friendship – the best of Flagstaff childhood. On one of those visits, we did some country swing dancing beneath the moon by the Historical Museum. Music wasn’t needed. What a fellow!

    • Gillian Ferris Kohl
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm
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    I’m told that during my spine fusion surgery, Nate sized up the chunk of hip bone he would use as a shim between C 5-6 with one eye closed and his thumb nail for scale. He didn’t even need to measure it, he was that intuitive a surgeon. He changed my life and, clearly, so many others for the better. I am forever grateful. I am simultaneously proud and heartbroken to have a Nate Avery original.

    • The Armstrong Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm
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    There are no words for the utter sadness. Our hearts go out to your family and to all of Flagstaff for such a tragic loss. With deepest sympathy, Marian, Joe, Mia, Jonas & Toby

    • Jon, Katie ,will, josh and Colin poindexter
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm
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    To Annette, Cora, Thad and maddie,
    Words cannot express our feelings for you and Nate. Nate is, and was, an amazing person. He had such great words of encouragement for our boys. And by the way, what a great fisherman! We’ve so enjoyed being slipmates with you at I dock. Know that as Nate is with the angels now, he smiles down on you and is proud. We Love you and pray for you and the Avery family.

    • Colleen Harrington Baer
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm
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    Dear Annette and family,
    My heart breaks for you. I probably haven’t spoken to you in 20 years and yet I have been telling stories tonight of my NAU time. You both are wonderful, caring and fun people. Nate was a true gentleman.

    • Michael and Amy Clifton
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm
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    Annette, Thad, Cora, Maddie and the entire extended family. May the memories of Nate held deep within your hearts help sooth your pain and loss. He was truly an amazing man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. The Clifton family.

    • Shannon And Kris Estes
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:29 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,

  119. To all members of the Avery Family. We want to extend our deepest sympathy to all of you and your friends on the sudden loss of your husband, father, brother and friend, Nate Avery. I had the honor of working with Nate at FMC and loved every minute of it. He will leave a large hole in the community of Flagstaff, never to be filled. I always loved talking to him (usually about our kids and families).
    One of my fondest memories is when he and his brother were at the pool at FAC and their kids were playing with them. He saw Katie, our only child, watching them longingly and asked Katie directly if she would like to join in. Of course she did and enjoyed every minute of it. Such kindness from such a beautiful person. It also played into his work. My heart aches for all of you. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss in your lives.
    Karin Ramos RN and family.

    • Shannon And Kris Estes
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm
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    Dear Avery Family, In just reading through these posts it is very clear what an amazing man Nate Avery was. I was privledged to have worked with him and to have seen the comfort and peace he offered his patients. Our hearts are heavy with this loss. Our prayer is that grace and peace find their way to your family. May his amazing memory comfort you.

  120. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. It is completely devastating… I pray that God will give you the strength to get you all through this tremendously difficult time. Know that you have the love and support of the entire Flagstaff community. *hugs* Kelly Guerrero

    • The Noblett family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,

    Words can not express our sadness upon hearing of this tragic accident. Nate was a true original. Brad and I never saw him without a huge grin on his face. He definitely lived life to the fullest. My kids still talk about riding in Dr. Avery’s “army car”. Nate was an awesome father, husband, friend, and a wonderful and kind neurosurgeon. We feel blessed to have known him. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Brad, Lissa, Rachel, Katie, and Jake Noblett

    • Julia Heersche and Don Massman
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm
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    To Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie; I took care of Nate’s patients on 3N/FMC. My husband and I also had the pleasure of knowing him from the river and just being around Flag. He was a great down-home guy and he really understood people. He made not only his patients but his collegues, friends, co-workers, and employees feel at ease in his prescence. He loved you very much and talked about you all the time. I will miss him terribly.

    He told really bad jokes.

    Mo, We feel for you sister. To all of the other family members our love goes to you too.

  121. To annette:

    To be a great physician sometimes it takes time away from the family. Fmc and the community thank you for the time and commitment to the children and those in serious trauma situations that Nate gave to this community the last eleven years. He loved his job and his family, had a funny sense of humor and will be sorely missed.

    megan kinlacheeny cat scan

    • Mary Herrera and Marco Scalise
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,

    We are so profoundly sad to hear of Nate’s death. There are no words to adequately express the pain that your family is going through. We join the many others in our thoughts and prayers for you.

    Mary and Marco

  122. I was so stunned and saddened to hear of Dr. Avery’s passing. The Avery Family is in my prayers. The communities of Flagstaff and Flagstaff Medical Center will feel the loss of Nate for many, many years to come. Many blessings to his family.

    Love,
    Rebecca, Cat Scan

  123. Dear Family,

    I was fortunate to see the strength of Nate and Annette’s love for their children every day when Cora walked into class. Her open-mindedness and true desire to create an environment where every student felt welcome was (and is) a testimony to your family. Thank you for trusting us with your children. Sincerely, Scott

  124. Annette Cora Thad and Maddie

    Nate enjoyed living so much that we cannot believe he is gone from all of us who love and respect him so much. However, his wise counsel, dry wit and outrageous caring generosity will stay with those of us he has left behind. Nate loved so many things: healing, the outdoors, wheeled things and good intellectual debate but most of all, he loved you all the most. Never did I have a conversation with Nate where family did not soon take over the exchange. Nate loved living life every day richly and gracefully in his unique style but most of all he loved you. Our hearts and our prayers go out to you at this time of loss. We love you.

  125. My heartfelt condolences to Annette and kids, Mo, Thad, and Chris. My heart ached when I heard the news of your tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

    • Kris and Dan Downs
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie and Avery Family~
    We are forever grateful for knowing Nate. His zest for life, love of family & friends, passion for adventure and embracing nature made a profound impact on us. He so naturally knew what is important in life and lived it. Our hearts are broken for everyone’s loss of such a special person but hold tight to the memories and his example.
    Much love.
    Kris and Dan

    • Wendell and Jen Johnson Family
    • Posted August 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm
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    Nate was a great guy that will be sorely missed. It is a tragic loss. We wish we could bring him back. We are here if there is anything we can do. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  126. I did not personally know Nate but was very aware of his impact on this community. Tears of sadness flow. I am at a loss for words of comfort for you and your family. May strength and peace fill your world in the future

  127. Annette,

    We are deeply saddened to hear of Nate’s passing. So blessed to call you friends. Please know that you, Cora, Thad and Maddie are in our prayers.

    Bourck and Renee Cashmore

  128. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie Mo,

    We are deeply saddened by Nate’s passing. He was an incredible person that we were all very lucky to know so well. He always had a smile on his face, good advice, and a great story to tell. He was inspiration to all of us and will be greatly missed but will forever be in our hearts, memories, thoughts, and prayers. As will you and the kids. Our love and condolences go out to you.

    The Pavon Family

  129. Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie, and the rest of the Avery’s,

    I am truly heartbroken by Nate’s passing and your loss. Words cannot express the torment I have in my heart right now, although I’m sure you know the feeling. All I can say is that Nate is such an inspiration to me. He had such a huge heart and amazing attitude toward life. He always put a smile on my face and made me laugh whenever I saw him. I realize more and more how amazing Nate was as I sit here and read all these posts. All of the love and sincerity on this page shows just what a great man he was and how many people he touched. He will forever be in my heart, memory and thoughts. Nate was the epitome of living life to the fullest and has taught me to do the same. My prayers, love and condolences are with you all.

    Alex

  130. Ohhh Goshhhh Dr. Avery, I just learned of your passing today at Phyical Therapy, and been crying all day. I’m going to talk to you for a minute, I wanted to say Thank You Sooo Much for my 1st back surgery about 4 1/2 yrs ago, great job.Lasted pretty long, and then 2 months ago, we did another back surgery only this one was alittle more detailed and again great great job, and you are alwayssss soo soo friendly in the office, in the hospital, especially before going into surgery, your kind encouraging words, your warm smiles all the time, just the best NeuroSurgeon around. You left wayyyy before you were suppose too, but when the Lord calls for us, wellll.I just had my 2nd appointment with you and there again was that smile, that I will cherish as I will always remember what a great Dr. You Were.Flagstaff has suffered a big loss. To Mrs. Avery and The kids and all the family I am so sorry for the tragic loss of Nathan Avery

  131. Dear Avery family:

    Although I only had the privilege of knowing Dr. Avery very briefly, the magnitude of his uniqueness, wonderful personality and brilliance at his profession were immediately apparent. He touched my life forever when he told me “Girl, I think you are healed” after reviewing some brain mris at a recent appointment.

    Please accept my most sincere and heartfelt condolences. I am so very sorry for your immense loss and pray that all the loving and cherished memories of Nate will help to bring comfort as you heal. May the Creator of all life fill your hearts with peace and please know that you are all in my prayers. May God bless you and keep you always…

  132. To our beloved Avery’s,
    Some day you will finally get to sit and read this stuff and we need you to know that you are the ones that we all model our lives after. You are all just that amazing. We love you so much and would trade anything to get Nate back. Please keep on living life the way you always have because it’s what Nate expects you to do.

    Nate, Barrett, Sam and Layne

  133. Annette- I’m so very sorry about Nate and my heart goes out to you and your family. Sending you a big hug and lifting up prayers from Lexington.

    • Kevin and Jackie Treadway
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:30 am
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    Dear Avery Family,
    Our deepest, deepest regrets for the loss of a very special man. Dr. Avery will be missed by so many in our community. His love for life and his family will be remembered always.

  134. Annette,

    I wept when I heard of Nate’s tragedy this weekend. I know the grief for you and your family is unfathomable and inconsolable. Nate was that great, rare individual who touch so many lives in so many ways too numerous to comprehend. I will never forget the time he walked up Hermit’s creek from the river to meet us while we were camped there and to show us were he had stashed some “hiking beverages” down by the rapids. Then watching him lead off into the rapids in his raft was pure joy. Nate’s passion for the outdoors infected us all. I will never forget the times we shared our victories, our worries, and our sorrows for the patients we cared for. Nate was and still is an amazing husband, father, physician and friend. I will always count him as my friend and mentor. He made me a better person and physician. I miss him greatly and profoundly as we all do.

    To the Great Nate Avery, May You Rest In Peace.

    Mike Glover

    • Lisa Christensen Havens
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:55 am
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    Maureen and Annette- Nate was such a good friend in junior high and high school. I’m glad to know that he did something amazing with his life. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • The Lindstrom Family
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:24 am
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    Dear Avery Family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all in your time of unbelievable grief. We are so profoundly stunned and saddened for your loss. Hold all of your precious memories of him close to your heart, may those help you to find some comfort and peace throughout this difficult time. He was a very special man who made a difference in so many peoples lives. What a truly wonderful legacy he left behind.

    Our deepest sympathy,
    Brian, Alyssa, Grant and Sloane

  135. My Sincerest Condolences to The Avery Family and Friends. I would see Dr, Avery in the halls on the way into the OR sometimes and he always smiled at me and said Hi.My heart goes out to each and everyone who loved and cared for him. He was and always will be that amazing person who touched you with such love and care. His sudden passing affects us all and will take some time to heal. He is and will be truly missed by all. God Bless and Keep you in this time.

    • Michele Zimmerman, RN
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:30 am
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    Dear Annette and family,

    It has been my priviledge and honor to work with Nate for the past decade in the peds ICU. When our little PICU first started, Nate was always there as our “champion” and our voice in the face of adversity. Even when we closed and thought that all hope was lost Nate kept the pressure on FMC’s administration to re-open. I know that many sacrifices were made in those early years for which we can never fully appreciate. He always managed to generate a quick smile even when the situation was very tense and grim. He was a kind and patient teacher to myself and our families for which I am eternally grateful.

    May your light continue to shine on for others.

    Michele and John Zimmerman

    • Barbara J. Treadway
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:33 am
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    Heartfelt condolences to all of Dr. Avery’s family. He was my doctor for 3 surgeries this past winter and spring. He was such a compassionate man with such a wacky sense of humor. Definitely one of the “good guys”. I will miss him terribly. Great loss to the Flagstaff Community.

    • John White Jr and Sheena Slay
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:12 am
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    To the Avery Family: Our hearts are breaking for the family right now, we were so shocked to hear the news! Please know that the family is in our thoughts and prayers! Mr. Avery just did brain surgery on our Father and we can’t be more grateful for his wonderful service! We are so sorry for your loss and may GOD be with you’all during this hard time!

  136. Dear Avery family-
    May the strength and love of your friends and family keep you and bring you peace.

  137. We are deeply saddened by the loss of this great man, husband, father……I am truly sorry Annette. Life makes no sense to me at this time and I am sure that you feel the same. We are all here to hold your hand and the hands of your children. Nate’s passing is a deeply profound loss for all of Flagstaff and all that ever had the pleasure of meeting this amazing man. Love and strength always.

    • Block & Rudakewich Family
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:33 am
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    Incredulous. A chasm as large as the Grand has opened. Another family, holding yours, in our hearts. Very much love, Debra, Dave, and Dmitri

    • Jack and Susy Walker
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:34 am
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    Dear Annette and Family: Susy and I are shocked and heartbroken over the news of Nate’s tragedy. We loved him and you and your family so much. We think of Nate often in our daily activities at work. He had a very positive impact on so many here at PCMC. The cervical plate he designed with Doug has helped so very many children. We have always been proud of him and were delighted you both chose to do some of his training here in Sat Lake City. We love you and will help in any way we can.

    • Levi And Suzi Black
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:41 am
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    We are so saddened by this loss and send our condolences to Nate’s family, friends, and all who know him. For he had an impact an all who crossed his path.

    We were blessed to know Nate, but only for a short time. But during that time he had a great effect on us in the way that he lived life. I often heard Nate speak of his family and he would glow with pride. One thing that could never be questioned was his love for them.

    We will miss him.

    • Gwen (Wendy) McGaugh Groth
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:50 am
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    It didn’t seem as if any time had passed between the days on the school bus (Nate smiling as he walked down the aisle to greet friends) and the days in the hospital (Nate smiling as he walked down the aisle to visit patients). That vision of Nate’s youth and charismatic smile will forever be in our minds, just as his kindness and character will be in our hearts. He will remain an example of a small-town, outdoor-loving boy who can achieve his dreams of being a renowned surgeon, husband, father and friend. Nate not only is legendary, he is a word in himself, “Legend-Avery.”

    • Wayne and Helen Ranney
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:51 am
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    To all of the Avery’s our heartfelt condolences. What a tragic loss that cuts deeply in all of us. His spirit lives on in all he touched.

    Peace, Wayne and Helen Ranney

  138. Even before coming to Flagstaff, I had heard of Nate Avery through the voices of patient’s he had cared for. He was an amazing and inspiring human being, always with a kind word or thought provoking comment. My heartfelt condolences to the Avery family.

    • Scott and Carrie Heinonen
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    Dear Avery family ~
    May you find peace and heal in the memories of Nate and all the beautiful ways he touched so many lives. We are very saddened with this great loss. Love and strength, The Heinonens

    • Steve & Elizabeth Thompson
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:38 am
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    Averys:
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of profound sadness, grief and loss. Take comfort in knowing that Nate touched so many both personally and professionally. He will be forever remembered for his positive outlook and effect on those who had the good fortune of knowing him.
    Steve & Elizabeth Thompson

  139. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,

    I am positive that you know how special hew was, not only has a husband and father, but as a Doctor (my dr.), friend and most importantly a wonderful human being. My husband and I ran into Nate on the dock at Lake Powell on August 2nd and he greeted me with a hug as always. He had just arrived and was headed to clean up the boat before the family arrived the next day. Cora, he told me how excited he was that you were coming up with friends that evening and he was so so excited to have some Daddy daughter time.

    My heart is sadden for the loss of your husband and dad, and to our community he truly was a hero, especially to me. Thank you Nate, I will miss your funny impersonations of Drs. and your funny endless stories.

    May God Bless you Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox!

    • Hugh & Pam Thompson
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 10:18 am
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    Annette and Family, We hurt with you and hope to someday understand why Nate left all of us so early. Have faith in God that this loss has a plan. Hugh and Pam

  140. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,

    We loved Nate and we love you. We are so awed by the outpouring of love just in the messages written above, but not surprised at all. Nate was so special, so warm, authentic and sweet. He could never resist a fontanelle…:-) which always made us smile. He loved his family, children, people, life! We admire him for his grace and patience, even in the most seemingly intense of situations. There is a physical void that I know Nate will fill with his joyful spirit. He lives on in our hearts. Please know we are here for you all. We have no idea what to do for you but if there is a thing please ask us, because we would rather help than not. We love you all. We wish you the miracle of peace in the midst of this chaos. We stand in solidarity with you, and will continue to do so endlessly. Much love, peace and light, PBJ and W

  141. My heart goes out to the Avery family and to all of Nate’s friends, patients and the entire staff at FMC. Dr. Avery was an exceptional surgeon and an exceptional human being! He was always, always in a good mood while at work. He had a smile and a joke for everyone. It was an honor to witness his interactions with patients. He would instantly put people at ease with his down to earth attitude! Everyone loved him! I will miss his sense of humor so much! His presence will be missed around FMC and throughout the entire community. I am so very sad for the loss of such a great person. His spirit will live on in each person whose life he touched! I am so honored to have crossed paths with Dr. Avery and to feel the warmth of the light he shined on those around him.

  142. John and I are thankful to have known Nathan and cherish his friendship. He lived life in such a way to bring joy to everyone around him…I wonder if he ever met a stranger…I don’t think he did. I love his quick smile and amazing sense of humor, his zest for life and infectious sense of adventure. He will be greatly missed, fondly remembered and continue to inspire many in the way he lived life. The whole Avery clan will be in our prayers.

    • Beverly.henry@nahealth.com
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 10:34 am
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    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Nate Avery will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, worked with him, and was cared for by him. This is a huge loss to our community, but even more so to you, his family. Blessings and comfort to you.

  143. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie….
    I can not express in words how shocked and saddened we were to here of Nathans passing. I have had the privledge of knowing Nathan for the past 10 years. I have and still care for his father, Dr. Charles Avery. On so many of my shifts, I would arrive to Nathan visiting with his father. He had such a warm, caring energy that I have never felt before. He was so down to earth, compassionate….this is a huge loss to the Flagstaff community, the medical profession and most of all to a family who he loved an adored more than anything. I hope you all can find some peace and comfort in this most difficult time in your lives. May you rest in peace Nathan…..

    • Joe and liz Haughey
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:37 am
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    Condolences to the Avery Family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. There are so many of us who were touched by Nate and his compassion and God Given Talents. Liz carries a plate in her neck that he inserted years ago after an Elk jumped on our car near Munds Park….Such a loss for the Flagstaff Community…..May he rest in Peace..

    • Sarah and RJ Reed
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 11:37 am
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    There isn’t much else to say that hasn’t been said above…we were fortunate to work with such an amazing person. He made every day enjoyable and he will be missed wholeheartedly by all of us. We share in your loss, our thoughts are with you.

    • The Mosharrafa Family
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,

    It is hard to imagine how we can miss someone so much that we saw so infrequently. I think we miss the better world with Nate in it. Such an exceptional man is a rarity. He was a gift to all who knew him and we are better people for having spent even a moment with him. May God bless your family as your family has blessed each of us, with peace, comfort and joy.

    Tamir, Ashley, Alex, Sara and Trey

    • Frank & Jane Lesselyong
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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    On 5-3-06 our son, David Lesselyong, age 20, was a student at Coconino Community College. He was with friends at Wupatki National Monument skateboarding when he fell and hit his head. David was air evacuated to Flagstaff Medical Center where he was diagnosed with a serious head injury.

    He was brought into the care of Dr. Nathan Avery, M.D. Dr. Avery provided not only excellent medical care but a tremendous amount of caring and compassion. We are so saddened by his loss.

    David didn’t make it. He died on 5-6-06 but we will never forget the kindness shown to us by Dr. Avery.

    • Allen, Carol, Curtis & Wyatt Haden
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    You are in our hearts and in our thoughts in this very sad time. We honor Nate’s life and good works and know he was a wonderful husband and father. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

    • Lisa Lamberson & Ben Shaffer
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm
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    There are no words to properly celebrate what it is to be an “Avery”. You are a family first and foremost. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews…but that’s just the start. There are those of use who have found ourselves “in the family” by some chance encounter that turned to friendship and then to love. The Avery’s love to love ~ and that was shown everyday by Nate. He loved his wife and kids, all his extended family, his friends, his life and his work. Nate will remain a hero for us all…living and loving LARGE, yet never loosing sight of the daily joys and challenges of living. You inspire us Avery’s ~ and we will miss Nate with you for the rest of our lives.

    • zaira and peter reznick
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:18 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie, and Family,
    You have all been in our thoughts and hearts everyday, since we heard of Nate’s passing. We are so saddened by the loss of such an incredibly sweet, funny, brilliant, and humble man, who was loved and appreciated by everyone! Sending our love and thoughts to each of you, at this difficult time.
    Sincerely,
    Zaira, Peter, Alisa, and Walker Reznick

    • Liz, Wolf & Maddie Gumerman
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm
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    Dear Family, Our hearts go out to you in this time of mourning. Nate was an amazing person in so many ways. We are lucky to of known him. All our thoughts are with you. Liz, Wolf, & Maddie Gumerman

    • Keith, Rhea and Emma
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie, Family and Friends……..

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal”.

    May you find comfort and strength in your memories of Nate.

    Love,
    Keith, Rhea and Emma

  144. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,

    I cannot believe that our “Great Nate”, is gone. I’m numb. I cannot imagine what you all are going through. He touched all our lives with his skill, sincerity, love, and quirky humor. The world is dimmer without his bright light shining. Know we are thinking of you and share in your loss. We are praying that God gives comfort to you and all who mourn at the loss of this wonderful man. We will always remember him.

    Angelo, “Pete” and Family

    • Cy, KC, Bridger & Wyatt Hershey
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie:
    As we all try to process the loss of Nate, know that we are here for you always and with Nate in spirit, as his legacy will live on in the minds of all he touched. Our prayers are with you.
    Sincerely,
    Cy, Kc, Bridger, and Wyatt

  145. Dear Avery family,

    I’ll never forget how kind and enthusiastic Nate was to let me, a total stranger, shadow him around the hospital for a week. His quick smile and easy demeanor immediately put everyone around him at ease. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through, but please know that you, your family, and Nate are in my prayers daily.

    Ian

  146. What a legacy Nate left. An amazing man, an amazing doctor. It is a blessing to know him and work with him! Hold tight to the memories, they will never leave you.

    No words can ever say enough. My heart breaks for you all! My prayers are with you.

    Loria

  147. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  148. Our deepest condolences goes out to the Avery family in the loss of Dr. Avery. He performed 2 surgeries on me, and his compassion for people is beyond words. He will be sorely missed by many, especially his family and friends…and by his patients….remember the good times, and tresure those memories forever. Prayers are for sure being sent your way.

  149. Annette,

    I am so sorry to hear of Nate’s tragic death and send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. My thoughts go back to NAU where I met you both in ASNAU. Nate was always kind, strong and took his own path. I remember fondly his sometimes coming to the ASNAU senate meetings in his cowboy boots and duster. We only crossed paths for a short time, but he left lasting impression.

    • Bill, Jen, Chianti and Amavi Miller
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm
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    Dear Avery family. Our heartfelt condolences to your family. Nate was one of a kind and will be missed but not forgotten.

  150. NATHAN- SOO LONG AGO WE KNEW YOU IN THE 80’S ..SOO YOUNG. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MISSED BY ALL YOU HAVE TOUCHED IN YOUR LIFE. GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY YOUR FAMILY FIND STRENGTH TO CARRY ON UNTIL WE ALL MEET AGAIN.

  151. Nate lovingly shared his gifts and talents with his family, friends and patients. I pray that my boys and I can follow his example of lovingly sharing our gifts with others as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Mike, Yosh and Hannes Flores

    • Kari (Clark) Hansen
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm
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    Averys,

    I’m so sorry for the loss of Nate. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. He will always hold a special place in my heart.

  152. We don’t understand. Can’t be understood. We give out love and our souls. Please let us help, we’re so near by. –Brady&Travis&Sherri&Dave

    • John and Michelle Musich
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,

    We are so sorry for the tragic loss of Nate. Our community will never be the same. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    John and Michelle

  153. No words can convey my deep sorrow about losing one the finest physicians in the country, and one of the most generous, warm person I have ever known. He treated everyone as though they were special, and made them feel like that. He always had a smile, or joke or funny song to make us laugh. His eyes would always light up when he talked about his family, and how much he loved them. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. What a great loss to FMC, Flagstaff and the whole community. Joy

    • The Schuster family
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,
    Nate was always so happy anytime you saw him. He would stop and ask you how it was going even if he was in a hurry. A hug and smile he had for you everytime! If and when you need that hug and smile we hope you let us know. Nate gave us many and we will share them with you. Thad if you need someone to show you the ropes of 4 wheeling like your dad used to please let Lee know he will take you out. Please keep in your hearts the love that Nate had for each of you. Remember that he is a FHS grad…”once an Eagle always an Eagle”. He will always be soaring above you and guiding you everyday. At night he will be the stars that shine down on you watching you sleep. Please remember that we are always here if you need anything. Lee,Beth,Missy, and Justin Schuster

  154. To your whole dear family,
    caress your whole community now, because he touched every part and every corner of it.

    What a dear, gentle, unassuming man with so much love for so many . . . an endless source of casual generousity, stoic integrity and intelligence.

    A large hole will be in mine, and all of our chests for quite some time now.

    Let’s lean on one another.

    • Stephanie (Chapa) Del Giorgio
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm
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    Dear Annette, I would be honored to be called upon to help you and your family in anyway at this time of deep sorrow. You and your children are surrounded with blessings of love and light. Too much time has passed… I love you my friend of so long ago and would love to reach out and hug you right now. Please know that your children will stand strong in life because they have memories of a dedicated, wonderful, loving Dad and because they have a resilient, amazing, loving Mom. You are their light and what an honor that is! Love you Annette, “Smurf”

    • Lizzy Kohl (Miss Baker)
    • Posted August 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm
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    Dear Annette, Thad, Cora, and Maddie,
    My heart is so heavy with this news.
    Know that I am lifting your family up in prayer.

    Love, Miss Baker (Mrs. Kohl)

  155. To all the Avery family and so many wonderful friends, we are sending you peace and love to help get thru this terrible sad time. Our hearts ache at the loss of such a wonderful father, husband, friend of so many. May his light and example of how to live continue to inspire all of us who knew him, as we remember and honor his life. Liz, Brandon, Baden and Camden Cruickshank

  156. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie – you are all incredible individuals and an amazing family. We feel so honored to have known Nate. To have such a positive impact on so many peoples lives is a testimony to how Nate lived life – full of love, humor and adventure. We will always remember his awesome advice, sense of humor and happiness and try to follow his example of how to live life to its fullest.

    Brad, Kim, Ben and Maia

  157. Dear Annette and the Avery family, we have been mourning your loss along side the rest of Flagstaff and beyond. Nate brightened our days in and out of work, and always had time to share his friendship. We will always remember his unique brilliance, compassion, and humor. It feels like a huge void has opened in his absence, but the inspiration we draw from Nate’s memories ultimately will continue to help us be more loving, more compassionate, funnier, and more adventurous, just as he was always able to do! Love Steve and Kristi Knecht.

  158. To all the Avery family: My parents and I send our deepest condolences. We have known Nate since his high school days (even though we are from the Coconino crowd) and feel priviledged to have witnessed the growth of the easy-going, adventurous young man into a brilliant and beloved Flagstaff hero. I will always cherish my memories of Nate (in the back of the med. school lecture hall with his spit-cup) and the many trips we shared home to Flagstaff (even the one when all my stuff was stolen out of Thad’s truck) during our 4 years of medical school. His friendship, humor, and calmness will never be forgotten. My heart aches for your loss, but I hope the fond memories of Nate will provide some peace to your family during this difficult time. Fondly, Berta

  159. When I think of Nate I think of someone who loved life and his family and lived to the fullest. He could take the darkest hour of mine and Steve’s life and make me smile. I will never forget all he did for us on oct 5 2005 and months and years to come after. I also had the privilege to care for his patients…Steve and I are so saddend for his family and the emptiness they must feel… The hole is deep….Flagstaff has lost a great man….

  160. I’m so sorry to hear of Nate’s passing. The Averys and Coopers have long family roots and I’m terribly saddened to learn this news. I haven’t followed his career, though I have heard more about Maureen. He sure accomplished many great things, and i”m sure had an enormous impact on many families lives. I graduated in Flag High in 1984, my brother in 1983. Please accept our familys most heart-felt condolences.

  161. Nate, Your my adopted little brother, though we haven’t done much since you’ve grown up! I will always remember your big plans, crazy fun approach to life, and your smile and laugh. I can’t believe you are gone. Our prayers and thoughts are with you Annette and your family. Mo and Chris I love you.

  162. My heartfelt condolences,thoughts and prayers to the Avery family and loved ones.

    I was stunned when I heard the news. Was just thinking about you on Saturday and then learned the news on Sunday morning!

    Dr Avery was an incredible man, always smiling and cheerful.

    He did my surgery last year and was amazing.

    You will be truly missed my friend, will always remember your kindness!

    Rest in peace…….

  163. Nate you have a unique gift of blowing sunshine into everyone’s lives- treating everyone around yourself as a true friend. Your smirky smile, your one liners and your large heart will be fondly remembered. I have never seen such sad eyes and heavy hearts throughout our community for a common cause… we are all connected because of you. May you and your family find a place of peace in your hearts.
    With love,
    Jewels, John, Hannah and Emma Doskicz

  164. They say it takes a community to raise a child, but it takes an Avery family to make a community.

    Nate was one of Flagstaff’s all-time finest and once in lifetime. His rare combination of brilliance and determination, was only exceeded by his kindness, optimism and zest for life. We respected and admired him as much as any on this Earth and his inspirational legacy will remain with us always.

    Love, Tom, Becky, Brittany, Woobie, and Wes

  165. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie: Our hearts go out to all of you.
    We were so saddened by the news of Nate’s passing. It was an honor to know Nate. Your family touched our lives in a way that makes us think of you often and giggle – even now and from so far away.
    You are extraordinary people and I hope all of that goodness and strength will help to carry you through this huge loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
    With love,
    CJ and The Boys

  166. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Avery Family and loved ones in this time of heartbreak and loss. May Love see you through.

  167. Nate had a great sense of humor, was a great surgeon, and was an excellent teacher. I was lucky to have been at the U of Utah when he was a fellow. He certainly taught me a lot and was always fun to be around. My sincere condolences to your family.

  168. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family, he was a great person to me as i had first met him he would make everything a joke to everything he was doing…haha he was a great person. My family had grown attached to him as he had done my surgeries, he was always a deardevil to me haha..he had fixed my back and made me who i am today…a strong Native American woman…I’m gonna miss you dearly, may you watch over us all…Dr. Avery 0:-)

    • Rachel, Joe, Becca& Alyssa Sturm
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm
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    Your family and your friends are in our hearts. We will miss Nate very much. It was always a pleasure to see his smiling face picking up kids at Marshall. It was a wonderful experience to have him in our office when he first returned to Flagstaff. He was a brilliant, caring and fun loving individual. He has touched so many in our community. Please know we are thinking of you. The Sturms

  169. My condulences go out to the avery Family. Nate did a great job with my son when he was 5 years old if it weren’t for Nate my son would not be here today I was very saddened when I heard the news and I am very sorry for your loss just Know that your family is in my prayers.

  170. Dear Annette and family,
    I hardly know what to say. There are no words to express what a tragedy this is and what a profound loss. I am so incredibly saddened and shocked by the news. I was just reading a message on this site from someone who’s life Nate literally saved. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure there were many of those, and innumerable people who’s lives he touched in lasting, positive ways. He was an amazing man and a shining example of someone who led a full, rewarding life and always gave back to those around them. Please know that the river community (including GCRG and me personally) is here for you and your kids, NOW and ALWAYS. My sincere condolences to you, your children and Nate’s family.

  171. Dr Avery tried very hard to save the life of my daughter Stephanie Marie Wagner who was killed in a car accident 4/7/2002. She suffered a massive head injury…..I will never forget his compassion when he had to come to the waiting room to tell me she did not make it…..He stayed and cried with us…..I am soo soo sorry for your lose! Blessings to you all….

    • Judy Battali Bercia
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm
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    We all knew from an early age that Nathan was going to “Be Somebody” but until I read some of these condolences through blurry eyes I never really appreciated just how lucky I was to know him. You don’t hear of to many people going above and beyond anymore. Nate has a place in heaven so now he can watch over us all. He will never truely be gone because he has touched so many lives in so many different ways. My prayers will be with those he left behind.-Battali and Bercia family

  172. Annette and the Avery Family, I’m saddened to hear of your tragic loss. While it’s been a while since we’ve seen you all, it is well remembered how special Nate was. He will live on in your hearts and memories forever -and that will bring comfort at difficult times. My heart and prayers are with you all. Lisa

    • Sherry - FBJ X-Ray Tech
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:38 pm
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    Dear Avery Family,
    Mere words cannot express the sorrow we all feel for the loss of Dr. Avery. Our prayers are for your comfort & the Peace of God which passes all understanding. Grab on to Jesus and hold on tight. He’s the only one who can get you through these toughest of times.

  173. I was a patient of Dr. Avery for a few years and became very fond of him and his fun bedside manner! I was deeply saddened to hear about his freak accident and subsequent death. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Avery family. Howard

    • Carrie J Monroy MD
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm
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    I was so incredibly shocked and sad to hear the terrible news on Sunday. I have been and will be praying for Nate’s family, that God might touch their hearts and hold them in his hand during this difficult time. Flagstaff has lost a truly gifted surgeon, a wonderful family man and a great guy overall. Whenever I had a patient I was really worried about, I knew I could send them to Nate and he would take great care of them. You are now, and will for a long time to come, be missed Nate…. :'(

  174. Dear Avery Family, thinking of you during this time. we can’t imagine the loss you are experiencing. with love and hugs. susan & riley brown

  175. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddox,
    I am so truly sorry for your loss. Nate was one in 7 billion. I absolutely loved shadowing Nate in the hospital. He was such a brilliant, compassionate surgeon. His humor and humility could make anyone and everyone feel comfortable. I loved how all of his medical certificates were off to the side of his desk, though. Pictures of his family were front and center. I’ve always thought the world of your family. You’ve always been so close and made time for amazing adventures with each other. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  176. I’m verysad to hear of Doctor Avery’s passing. His skill as a surgeon saved my life a number of years ago. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

  177. So sorry to hear of Nate’s passing, condolences from Cousin David to all family.

  178. Chris, Nancy, Tanner and Summer – I don’t believe I ever met Nate, but I feel like I know him, at least a little bit, through the stories that Chris has shared. The Avery family is extraordinary, and Nate is clearly a big part of what makes it so. Even a quick scan of the posts on this site reveals what a huge impact he made upon the lives of so many. Cat and I send all of the Avery clan our love and support.

  179. Dear Avery family,
    My heart is breaking for you all and for our community. Flagstaff was blessed by an incredible surgeon, person, friend, husband, and father! He literally saved my life. I had sever cervical spinal stenosis. After my operation he told me he wished the outcome could have been better but it was even more severe than he thought. I looked at him at said: I’m walking, talking, eating, and can use my hands — thank you! He said if we had waited two more weeks I probably would have died or been paralyzed for life. Without his incredible skill I would have died. But the best part of knowing him was his sense of humor! At one of my last appointments I said I know I can’t go skiing any more what should I not do. He said, Oh you can go skiing, you just can’t fall. We both cracked up and that laughter — his great sense of humor was his secret ingredient that he blessed his patients with and it made a huge difference. I can only imagine if my heart is breaking, how each of you must feel. You have been in my prayers since I found out and I will continue to pray for heavenly comfort and peace. I join you in missing him–he was a unique and incredibly special man.

  180. Dear Avery Family, no one can understand such profound grief that you all are going through: please accept our apologies if any of this hurts you more. Our prayers are with all of you. Dr. Avery was truly one-of-a-kind, we were blessed to have known him. Thank you for sharing him with us!

    Joe, Candi, Faustino, Weslee, and Dulciana

    • Gibby Siemion & Justin Salamon
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie,
    I’m so, so sorry. Each of you are in my heart and thoughts as you process the unimaginable. I am so grateful to have spent time with you all recently… and only wish I could have known Nate better. What an incredible person he was and what an outstanding family you are. Justin and I are sending our eternal support – please call on us if there is anything we can do.
    Gibby

  181. Dear Annette,Cora,Thad and Maddie,
    I’m still in denial. How can this be? He was truly the gold standard in every way. Kid whisperer extraordinary! We are deeply saddened and so sorry for your loss. Love, Auger and Tara

  182. Nate,
    May your beautiful life, love and smile continue to shine through to all the lives you have touched. You are a genuine, rare soul who showed us how to appreciate, enjoy and really LIVE life! May your robust and fulfilling life be an example to us all.
    To Nate’s family: May God heal your painful loss and may love help to fill the void. May Nate’s incredible journey and memories always bring a smile to your faces and hearts.

    • Michael Buckmaster, M.D.
    • Posted August 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm
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    Dear Annette,
    My heart is heavy and sleep escapes me as I remember Nathan and wish his light had shined much longer. Family man, adventurer, kid magnet, “the amazing flying avery”, carpenter, guide, brain surgeon, friend. Only time could limit an attempt to describe him.

    When he said “drive fast and take chances” it was his way of telling you to keep your wits about you. He will be sorely missed though it is clear from the loving responses of so many family, friends, colleagues and patients that a fuller life was rarely lived.

    Tomorrow is promised to no one, but you can be sure that no one who knew Nathan will forget him any time soon. We are all better for the time that we had him.

    Please accept our deepest condolences.
    With love,
    Mike, Louise, and Nick

  183. So sorry to hear about your loss. I met Dr.Avery briefly 10 years ago for advice before embarking on a medical career myself. Now a Surgeon myself I still remember his giant smile and encouraging words that helped me become who I am today. My greatest sympathies for all his friends and family.

    • Chad Tharan & Peri Miller
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:24 am
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    My condolences go out the Avery family, his colleagues, close friends and to all the people whose lives he touched. Over the years I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Avery as a colleague and as my own surgeon. This community has lost not only a great man but a true human being who was compassionate, giving and above all kind to all he encountered.

    • patricia.rowold@nahealth.com
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:20 am
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    Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues of Dr. Avery,

    I had the privelege of calling on Dr. Avery at all hours of the day and night for referral calls for a neurosurgeon/spine physician. He was always very professional and a great teacher of all things neurosurgical for the referring physicians.

    He was someone I recommended to friends if they needed care.

    My deepest sympathies to you all.

  184. Dearest Avery family,
    I had thought my tears were in check until I read through many of the countless heartfelt condolences and stories that have graced this website. What a beautiful legacy for a gentle man to leave behind. It is all so true that his love for living and his precious family were ever present in his conversations. It made being around him a gift and a blessing! I have worked as a RN for 25 years at FMC. My first impressions of this wonderful physician were when I managed the Special Care Nursery. Dr. Avery urged us to take on the challenge of caring for postoperative infants here in Flagstaff…ever the lover of families, and not wanting to see them torn apart as babies were flown away from our hometown and off to the bigger city for surgery and care. Seven years ago, I transferred into Dr. Avery’s home-ground…the main hospital O.R. I can’t tell you how much I learned from him over those years. Much of it was medical….but even more was about life and enjoying it. His crooked grin was famous, and it made each of us OR nurses feel special and valued. His jokes…silly and sillier…were enough to brighten the darkest of moods. I always giggled my way through the cases I circulated for him, but when he and our sweet Dr. Nicol were in the same room together, I often had a sincere wish that I had put on some Depends before entering that OR! There was a magic between those two physicians, and a magic in Dr. Avery that will always be remembered by those of us privileged to know him and have been able to work around him for any length of time.
    God, I believe, puts regular people into this world who help us to strive to be better than we are. Dr. Avery…who is everything that so many have written about him…is one of those amazing people. Thank you Dr. Avery—for bringing so much to so many. Thank you, Annetta and your beautiful children, for allowing us all to share him with you. Love, MM

    • Robert Dempsey M.D.
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm
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    Dear Avery family
    We are all so very sorry to hear of the loss of a collegue and friend. Although I was only briefly involved in Nates training , I have always appreciated his energy, joy for life and compassion for patients. He was a special person and will be much missed.
    My sincere thoughts and prayers to the entire family
    Robert Dempsey M.D.

  185. We are so sorry to hear of Nate’s passing. He left footprints on the hearts of so many people in this community and we are all the better for having known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Shannon, Matt, Taylor and Kate Bailey

  186. Knowing Nate as a young teen who helped babysit Jessica and Brett was not so dissimilar to visiting with him as a patient in his office. His compassion, quick wit and sense of humor were a gift he shared with many, both professionally and personally. Flagstaff mourns his loss while the angels above will be celebrating his arrival.

  187. One of my favorite images if Nate is passing him on the river when he was doing a Hatch runout. He was standing at the bow of the boat with a pair of headphones on. I don’t know what he was listening to, but he was so into the moment, just swaying and dancing with his eyes closed, totally enveloped in the beauty and freedom of the Canyon. This is the image I will meditate on everytime I feel the heartbreak creeping back in. My deepest sympathies for the Avery family and extended family. Words simply aren’t enough to encompass this loss. He was an angel on Earth. Now, he is an angel in Heaven. Peace.

  188. As a long-time patient of Dr. Avery, I would like to say this to all of us who are sporting his surgical handiwork and hardware: Let’s honor the man who helped us heal by taking care of ourselves. When we find ourselves slipping back into the old habits he warned us about – posture, exercise, feeling sorry for ourselves – shake it off and turn it around immediately. Honor his work and love and genuine care by taking care of the gifts he gave us. My heart goes out to Nate’s family. He was The Man.

  189. Dear Annette and Family, Please accept our sincere condolences. John had the good fortune to spend two weeks with Nate in the Canyon two years ago. Nate showed us how to run the river and how to live life with grace. He healed so many of our friends and colleagues and has been one of the most valued and valuable members of our community. We can never forget Nate.

    • Shasta Wright and Jon Ruth
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm
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    Dear Avery Family, Words cannot express the saddness that is felt with the loss of such a wonderful man. Nate always made me smile, whether it was swapping river stories, high-fives for acheiving dreams, or just offering a cold beverage after the finish of the Imogene…He loved life, and he loved you, Annette, Thad, Cora, and Maddie, and was always so proud when speaking about you. Our heart goes out to you in this difficult time. His love of life continues to shine on.

    • Ron and Maria Koury
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:27 pm
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    Annette,
    Maria and I are deeply saddened to hear about Nate.
    I haven’t seen him since residency , but he always stands out in my memory as one of the neatest guys I’ve ever known. There aren’t that many folks who are both genius and cool. Nate was truly both. I haven’t always been good at praying, but I’m definitely praying for you and your kids now. We’re thinking of you. Hang in there.
    Ron

  190. Annette, I am so sorry. I hope you and your family can find some kind of peace with all the love that people felt for Nate.

    • Kimothy M. Sparks, RN
    • Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm
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    Nate was one of the nicest, kindest, smartest, and BEST doctors I have EVER had the privilege to work with. Nathan Avery was a stellar individual and a gifted physician with a great sense of humor and a heart of gold. Rest in Peace my friend.

  191. Dear Annette and family,
    I cannot even imagine what you must be going through during this time. You are such a special person and the two of you have touched so very many lives. May you and your family find comfort and peace. If I can help you now or at anytime in the future, please know I am here….With love, and thinking of you. Elaine

  192. Dear Annette and family,
    On behalf of my mother also I am writing. Please accept our condolences for your loss. My mother was a very recent patient of Dr. Avery and was heart broken to hear of his passing away. She loved him dearly and I was also witness to how he cheered her up so much after the surgery and how so encouragingly he spoke to her about her healing progress.

  193. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. As you all know and all of us on this web site, Nate was an amazing man. I knew him in a work acquaintance type friendship. Interesting, everything I ever needed to know about Nate occurred the first time I met him within seconds. A good, kind, honest and especially a humble man who cared for and loved his family. I had many more encounters with him validating that.

    It is hard to say good bye to Nate. Rather than focusing too much on the loss of such a wonderful person, it is so nice that we are celebrating tomorrow his 45 good years of living. Thanks to all of you for having that strength to find a thankful attitude in this very difficult time.

    I am not certain why this tragedy occurred at such a young age and in the prime of his life, what I do know for certain is Nate was a great guy. Often times he made me reflect and want to be a better person by his example (always showing patience and kindness no matter the pressures of the day). He could speak with anyone and somehow we all just felt special/respected/important to him during that engagement. I have rarely known another individual that could be more present in a given moment in time.

    Here’s to you Nate! You did well and lived an amazing life. To all of his family I am truly sorry for your loss.

  194. Dear Avery Family, I am sorry for your lost. Dr. Avery fixed my head. I was scared and he was great to me. I will miss him very much. Hugs and thoughts for you all.

  195. Dear Avery Family, It is with such sadness to have this loss to your family, friends, and community. Nate has left an inspiring message to us all and that is to live fully, laugh often, engage yourself in every moment and love deeply. What an amazing being! Sending prayers and blessings to all.

    • STEPHEN R. PETERS, M.D.
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 6:24 am
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    Dear Avery Family,
    I have had the opportuinty to work with Nate and and so enjoyed his camaraderie, smile and especially his great surgical skills. I remember working with him as he saved a young girl’s life(and brain) who would have herniated her brain had Nate not acted immediately to remove her skull(literally). The quick action of the team of pediatricians and anesthesia lead by Nate allowed her to have a full recovery! What a blessing this man was. Surely he exemplified spiritual Grace and more. I am deeply saddened at his earthly passing. God certainly has higher plans for him.

  196. Nate was a truly extraordinary person, and will be greatly missed. His spirit WILL live on, though, as he has touched so many lives with his wonderful spirit and talents.
    TA & AA

    • Ann and Veronica Fisher
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 7:15 am
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    Dear Avery Family,
    Please accept our sincerest condolences. We are deeply saddened by your loss, and have you in our thoughts and prayers. You are loved!

  197. I wish to thank Doctor Avery’s family for sharing this special man with his patients. He truly did make an impact through his life work. My daughter, Megan, was a scared teenager when she first met Dr. Avery after learning the surprising news that she had a tumor in her spinal cord. His obvious concern, his dry sense of humor, his clear explanations of what he would do and how he would care for her, put her more at ease. The entire process, although frightening and painful for her, was made more bearable by this special man. He has left behind a legacy that will not be forgotten. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

  198. Dearest Averys-
    Take solace in the possibilty that perhaps there was a page for the greatest doctor in the world upstairs snd Nate unselfeshly heeded the call. Someone up there is getting the finest human being we could give. The best doctor, dad, friend, brother, and anything to everyone. Nate-Say hey to Val for us. Duane, Jennifer,Lauren, and Megan

  199. Dear Annette and family,
    I am absolutely heartbroken over the loss of Nate. I cannot imagine your pain. I had the true privilege of working with him and will miss him deeply.
    I have never met another person in all my life who effused happiness so thoroughly, so completely. You may meet a genuinely happy and content person once in your life and Nate was that for me. It always was so apparent that he had such deep love of his family. He was such a smart kind man to the core. I loved every minute of conversation with him in and out of the operating room. He will remain an inspiration to me on how to cherish every moment, person and experience, which he did effortlessly. My heart cries.
    I send peace, love and comfort to his dear family.

  200. Dear Annette and extended Avery family,

    We were greatly saddened to hear of Nate’s passing. He was an amazing person and example-he joyously lived each day to its ultimate, in an unassuming way that made all around him comfortable. Be it the excitement that came from sharing his paddleboard at its various states of completion, or a hug at a Marshall parent night, he had a way of making everyone feel acknowledged, present, counted for.
    To Nate: turn on your lovelight-let is shine, shine, shine.

    Blessings,
    Susan Merkli, Rani Bloom and Jacob Albert.

    • Steve Bonderud & Family
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    Dear Annette and Family
    Our Condolences.Doctor Avery was my brain surgeon July 2008.
    My miraculous recovery was due to Nate’s talents as a surgeon.
    His kind encouraging and humorous words to my Wife,Daughters,Family and Friends were so comforting to all who had worried about the uncertainties during the time of my head injury.
    We are all saddened for the loss of such a talented and caring human being.Our prayers and thoughts to the entire family.

  201. Dear Annette,
    I am so sorry to hear about Nate. I have many fond memories of our times at NAU and working together in student government. I send my love and prayers to you and your family, Jon Delany

    • Joanne and Bob Tallarovic
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 9:41 am
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    Dear Avery Family,
    We are so very saddend by Nathan’s sudden passing. Our condolences to the entire family as well as his many friends. We will all miss him.

    • Mary Delduca, Jarod and Dalton
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 9:52 am
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    Dear Avery Clan,
    Our hearts and prayers are with you at this saddest of times.

  202. To the Avery and Meyers Family,

    As is the whole community, I am saddened by the loss of Nate. Watching you all grow up was an awesome pleasure and seeing the adults you turned into is a joy. Which is why present circumstances make it so sad. Nate will be greatly missed and your loss is also a tremendous one to the Flagstaff Community. I want you to know that, although I am unable to be with you today, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you today and in the days and months to come.

  203. Dr. Avery was truly the most wonderful doctor I have ever had. I could never have wished for a more caring person to help me through my time of need.
    My prayers are with your family through this difficult and tragic time. I am truly sorry for your loss of such an amazing husband and father.

  204. To the Avery family,
    To say that I am devastated and saddened by your loss does not even begin to express my feelings. I had lunch with Nate Thursday and remember thinking, as I always did, I really like him.
    While struggling to describe him to my friends and family, a suggestion was made by someone who also knew him that seemed to sum him up. Nate was kind. He had kind eyes and when he spoke to me and said, “How are you?”, he was always sincere.
    He seemed to live his life with purpose and vigor and had my unspoken admiration for his ability to pursue excellence personally and professionally with determination.
    Nate seemed to know that our precious lives are unpromised, yet full of possibilities.
    I am honored to have known him.
    James

  205. I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a wonderful man. I had the opportunity to work with Nate at FMC and the opportunity to care for a child in Tucson that Nate had performed surgery on. The family of this child had nothing but praise for the most impressive doctor they had ever met. Nate truly had a heart of gold. You will be greatly missed.

  206. I met Nate many years ago when we both worked for a company called Flagstaff Engineering. He was right out of high school. We were fast friends. He was so smart, kind, sweet, and funny. During the time we worked together, he bought tickets for the Marshall Tucker Band concert at Ardrey Auditorium and asked me if I wanted to go. He picked me up in his dad’s Audi away we went! We had a ball. We lost touch after the company folded but I was so happy to hear he was back in town with his own practice as a neuro surgeon a few years ago. I’d see him around town from time to time with his beautiful family. When I heard of his untimely passing, my heart broke for his family. My prayers go out to all who knew and loved him. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.

  207. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal, Nate’s memory will live forever.

    • Bob and Dinah Gillette
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:58 am
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    To the Entire Avery Clan: Please accept our condolences.If Nate had to leave us, what better place than one he loved…Lake Powell. Nate left a great impact on this community and on us. Thanks for the memories. B&D Gillette

  208. Mike and I were so, so saddened to hear of your loss. Nate was a large part of why we moved to Flagstaff and he was so welcoming to us. We’ll be thinking of you today and many other days in the future. Wish we could be there in more than spirit today.
    Elyse and Mike

  209. Blessings to you Nate. You always gave your best. My condolences to those who remain here and know you will always be remembered beneath the mountain we all grew up next too. Nathan

    • Dan & Jane Julien Family
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm
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    To the entire Avery family,
    We are tremendously saddened by your loss. Nathan was born in the house across the street from us during our first year in Flagstaff and he and his young family lived in the house directly behind us when they returned to Flagstaff. The Avery family helped us adjust to our new town. We collected Christmas trees together in the 60’s. We were colleagues with Chuck and Val at NAU. We loved their children and their old dog, Tar. Nate was such a bright young man and a bit of a pill, not unlike our three sons. It is so hard to understand why such a horrible tragedy could happen to such a wonderful family but they are strong and will handle this and be even stronger. Annette and children, our special thoughts, love and prayers are with you.

  210. Nate – What a big and expansive heart, humor and spirit. Multifaceted, kind and consistently good throughout his life. Love.

  211. To the family: No words are enough. Here is a place of help for the days ahead.

    http://www.widownet.org/

  212. My prayers go out to all who new Dr. Avery, May God give you all peace in your hearts and more love for one another. Life is so short. Say the things you long to say, do the things you long to do and love everyone.
    Celebrate the time you had with Dr. Avery.

  213. To the entire Avery family: Please know that you have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    To Cora: You are a rock star…you are a strong, beautiful person, and I have a great deal of admiration for you. I did not know your dad, but I know that children are a reflection of their parents. My heart goes out to you, and I am here for you if you need me.

  214. There is a gentle rain falling here on the North Rim as you all gather there on the Peaks to celebrate Nate’s life. I extend my love and prayer for peace and comfort to Annette, the children and all those who loved and admired this wonderful man and now feel his loss. Many blessings of peace and comfort to you.
    Jess

    • Albert and Connie Jordan
    • Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm
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    Annette and Family,
    We were deeply saddened and devastated by Dr. Avery’s death. You, the children and your family have been in our thoughts and in our prayers. Dr. Avery was the most experienced Neurosurgeon we have ever met. My husband and I were both patients of Dr. Avery. I had three Lumber surgeries and at one point I was in a wheel chair. Because of his caring, encouraging and humorous ways I recoverd. Anytime he met up with me at the hospital he would always go out of his way to go over and say hello and ask me how my husband and I were doing. He memory will always remain in our hearts. God bless you and give you strength.

  215. Nate was one of the kindest and gentlest doctors I ever saw in 39 years of nursing. Never a cross word or a condesending word to anyone. May God smile gently on his family and friends in this time of sorrow. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Elisa Eastburn Rn and Kate Jensen Rn

  216. We have been at such a loss for words to express how saddened we are for you and for all of Flagstaff. Nate was truly one of a kind! He was Bobs doctor but also we considered him a friend. It didn’t matter if you saw him on the street or in the hospital, he knew who you were. Our hearts go out to all of you at this most difficult time. And, as was said today at the Celebration for Nate, “We are all better for having known him”. Thank you Nate Avery for giving so much of yourself to all of us.

  217. Today’s celebration of Nate’s amazing life was one of the most touching and beautiful things I have ever experienced. What a man, what a family, what a wife.

  218. Thank you to the entire Avery family and friends for beginning the healing process for our community with a touching, fun, sincere, strength-filled celebration of Nate’s life. You all are so inspiring and Nate will forever continue to shine through each and every one of YOU!
    Much love,
    Deanne Despain and Dave Barsickow

    • Karl and Di Obergh
    • Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:28 am
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    Dear Avery family, we are very sad to hear about your loss. Our thoughts are with you. We don’t have any spectacular story to tell about Nate, but we have only pleasant memories. As we read these posts, it reminds us how valuable life, friends, and family are. Nate has helped us open our eyes again, and make sure we cherish every moment.

  219. Dear Annette, Thad, Cora, and Maddox and the rest of the Avery family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time of need. Nate was a great man and friend to all who knew him. He was like another brother to me. I am happy that my Brother Bill and the class of 85 were at the service. You will always be a part of the Flagstaff community let my parents know if you need anything at all.
    Shannan Gaylord

  220. Dear Averys,
    I did not know you, but our son and his wife, Tyler and Kari Webb, do. They love you all. I am an RN in the Valley, and after reading these wonderful moments by those that did know him, I know I will strive to be a better person. You see, Nate touched those he didn’t even know. And it will go around and around and around….

    • Dawn (Hurst) Stalker
    • Posted August 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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    I have searched for the right words all week to express to you my condolenses. I am still at a loss as to what to say. I want you to know that you are surrounded by love, prayers, and hugs. All of Flagstaff and many places farther reaching than I can imagine have been touched by Nate’s life. Even though we are saddened that he has passed, I can’t help but be happy that we all had him in our lives. Nate showed so many how important is is to LIVE, and to not let things that you think are so important go to your head. I will always remember his great humor and most of all his wonderful hugs!

    I will be praying for your whole family to have a since of comfort and to know the direction that Nate would want you to go.

    • Emmalee Kennedy and Jeff Daniel
    • Posted August 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm
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    Dear Avery family,

    We were shocked and saddened like so many others to hear of Nate’s death. He was amazingly smart in such a diverse way. We enjoyed his dry humor and simple elegance. He spoke often of his love for you. We feel honored to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Emmalee and Jeff

  221. Dear Avery fammily,

    We just wanted to tell you how beautiful the service was. Our hearts are breaking for you and if you need anything at all please let us know. The Downard Family

    • Howard and Christine Brown
    • Posted August 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm
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    Avery Family:  The stories that we’ve heard this week have created a magnificent portrait of your Nate and your family, painted from a palette of love, compassion, humor, and wide-open spirits.  Nate was a uniquely special man, but your family reflects his values, dreams, and personality in a way that allows his  uniqueness to flower and grow in a multitude of others.  We wish we had known him better. With love, Howard, Christy, Seth and Emily

  222. Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddox,and family, my heart felt condolences. Nate was a very special person and friend. The Celebration of Nate was truly a special trubute and showed what an awesome human being he was. I was fortunate enough to have experienced life with Nate and do some hair brained things with him, Tucker,Harris, Thompson, Tulloss and other close friends. Such a priviledge. I will miss his rye smile and his sarcasm he had towards me. I was fortunate to have Nate get me back in shape when I had my neck injury. I was lucky to have him as a doctor and more importantly, my friend. I will miss your husband, your father, your son, my friend. God Bless you all. Jeff Plattis

  223. Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddox, and Avery clan. I have been thinking all week about you all, and Nate, and what he has meant to our hospital and our community. I’ll greatly miss him, and all that came with him – his toothless “smirk”, his humor, his leadership, his willingness to stand up in our Trauma committee meetings for things he felt needed improvement, seeing him at the computer for the first time a couple of months ago, his ability to cut through BS, his integrity, his love of his family, his love of the lake and the ‘family and friend time’ that came with it. Thank you for your part in his wonderful send-off yesterday. It is something I will always remember. It made me think about how best I can honor my friend. Along with enjoying a few beers, and perhaps occasionally putting my hand on my friends’ wives butts, I, in all seriousness, am going to work on spending more time with friends, taking more pictures, reaching out to those in my neighborhood. Nate won’t be forgotten. As we grow older, he will always be young. That is the only thing that seems right in all of this. Andy. (and with love from Jacque, William, Lauren, and Ellie)

  224. I just found out that you passed away. Oh man, what can I say? I am shocked. You were there for me in my time of need. You helped me more than I even know. Thank you Dr. Avery for being there for me, for being positive in my situation and for doing what you could for me. God bless you and may your legacy live on forever.

    • Shaad and Sadia Bidiwala
    • Posted August 26, 2012 at 6:56 am
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    Annette, yesterday, as I prepared to leave Phoenix, I thought briefly of “forgetting” to rinse off my conditioner as a tribute to Nate. But then I thought that seeing yet another guy being dragged off by airport security with white gloops dripping from his black hair would not have been what Nate wanted.

    Words cannot express how saddened and shocked we were to hear about Nate. He was an amazing guy and an inspiration to all of us. My only regret was that, through all the chaos of residency and everything afterward, I didn’t get to spend enough time learning from him. Seeing you and your family and Flagstaff friends’ courage and humor through such a tragedy really gave me an idea of how Nate became who he was. You all are truly remarkable, and are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Cora, Thad, and Maddie: I don’t have to tell you how amazing your Dad was. He just was, and to everyone that ever knew him. A whole community told you that on Friday. From talking with him in the last few years, I know that he was so proud of all three of you, and for good reason.

    If you all need anything, or if we can do anything for you, please let us know. Again, you will always be in our thoughts and prayers.

  225. Annette, Cora, Thad and Maddie——

    Nate was simply the greatest man ever! No words will ever replace his presence or impact on the world. But his legacy lives on in all of you. You are all an amazing, incredible family and all of you kids possess a unique part of Nate in you. We see it every day. Cultivate it!

    We all feel so honored that he brought us into your lives and taught us so much about life and living. We wish more than anything that we could bring him back and keep learning from him. He wasn’t done. But oddly enough we find he is still teaching us…even now. How does he do that?

    We all will keep loving each other and hugging and crying and maybe one day we won’t hurt so deeply——maybe. We love you Averys!

    Kat, Dave, Mackenzie & Cooper

  226. I want to offer my condolences to Dr. Avery’s family. Hes got a million stories and helped a lot of people, but I would like to say he was an amazing man and made my life a lot better then it was. My heart goes out to you in this time. I will always remember him, even though he only touched my life for a short little time, I will Never forget him.

  227. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart Dr. Avery! You came to me on 7 January 2008 from a charter bus roll over accident I was in coming home from Telluride, Colorado. You are the SOLE reason I was able to walk again from a fractured back. We spent 10 months together from surgery to recovery and every time you made me smile during the largest tragedy of my life. You gave me hope during an ironically similar sudden and tragic loss of my 42 year old fiance’ from that accident. The two of you were amazing and inspirational people and I know you’re both looking down on all of us saying “push on, chins up, and get out there an enjoy life every day!”

    I am blessed because of you to be enjoying scuba diving, hiking, mtn. biking, and all that the outdoors have to offer. Four years later I recall almost daily your simple advice (with a smile) about how to live my life with a back injury “don’t gain weight and keep exercising” which has pumped me up on many occasions when I don’t want to. You’ve always kept me going Dr. Avery!

    My heart is so broken for your family, but I know your amazing spirit will give them hope and inspiration to live their lives through you and for you every single day. Thank you for changing so many people’s lives and let you be an inspiration to all your fellow neurosurgeons that knew you or now know you…

  228. Dearest Chuck,

    I am so sorry for you and your family. It is such a great loss for all of us. You have been in my thoughts and prayers for a long time, my friend.

    Fondly always,
    Linda Baker

  229. I did not know Dr.Avery and I have never met his family. I just simply want to say that I am lifting up prayers for all the sweet people in his life that are left behind to carry on. I am asking the good lord to look over each of you and give you the peace and love to get through. I am praying for sweet memories to immerse your mind and to hold on to one another. I am so in awe of how loved this man was and I wish I could have known him. God bless you one and all. Sincerely, Becky Cray

  230. People who posses great ability in a given field are, sort of by definition, exceptional. They can do things most of us can’t do. The best of them use their talent to push the boundaries of their chosen profession and, in doing so, they create possibilities and inspiration in the minds of everyone else. The products of their gift can move us, entertain us, improve our lives or even literally save them.

    Unfortunately, either due to the pressures or privileges (or both) of their talent, these exceptional people can end up stunted in other aspects of their lives. One part of themselves is built up to such an extent that the rest sort of atrophies from lack of use. Therefore, while we marvel at the genius of these scientists and authors and musicians and athletes and doctors, and appreciate the results of their work, we don’t necessarily want them for our neighbor, our co-worker or our friend. Often, it seems, the gifted become only their gift and not much more.

    Dr. Avery was the exception to the exceptional people rule. He did not rest on his skill as a surgeon or allow it to overtake the rest of himself. Instead, he was one of the most wonderful examples of a “complete” person that I have ever met. And just by being himself he inspired everyone around him to try a little bit harder, to push their boundaries, to open their minds to the possibilities, not just in the medical field but in their own selves. He wasn’t just gifted, he was the gift. And it’s hard when people like him leave us, because even when they go, they stay.

    We will miss you, Dr. Avery. Thanks for the gift.

  231. To Nate’s family, friends and colleagues~ Nate was known to me by the patients we shared. Through their eyes, I saw a loving, compassionate, miracle worker who changed innumerable lives for the better and saved so many. His love of living was obvious through the inspiration he instilled in those who benefitted so greatly from his tender care. It was an honor to work alongside Nate, from a distance and feel so connected to the person who loved the life he lived so fully. Nate will always be a source of deep inspiration for all of us who were touched by his magical being.

  232. Dear Avery Family,
    I didn’t know Dr. Avery personally but I know profoundly of his presence at the hospital. I have worked with his patients and carry a vision in my mind of him standing at the 3N nurses station, making the staff laugh and bringing a brighter day. I have heard from his patients and staff what a wonderful person and Dr. he was. I am inspired by his loving, caring ways and will always strive carry this to future patients. My loving thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Staci Whitman, PT

  233. The beginning of a new week … while traveling from Flagstaff home to Tucson home the day after Nate’s Memorial, I jotted down these thoughts … this morning while driving our 7 dirt road from the foot of the Baboquivari Mountains out to the highway, I was thinking about what bird best symbolized Nate. I decide that a Harris hawk fit the bill, as they sort of operate as a family pack yet are noble each to their own. There’s also a red tail that hangs out along the ranch road in the mornings, and I thought he might have been in touch with Nate. I didn’t see either today, but did see some adorable fuzzy yellow song birds buzzing around and so I said (yes really said it out loud “HEY NATE!” and out came a big grin.

    Yesterday I travelled north to my childhood home of Flagstaff to join my family and the community in a celebration of life for all of our friend Nate Avery. He was one of those unique people whose bountiful energy and zest for life enriched everyone he encountered, including me. His family’s request is that everyone who carries Nate’s love and life energy within themselves carry on and do for Others what Nate did for you. In particular, to reach out to a child or young person and help love and raise that child. Open a door and urge the young person to cross the threshold.

    I saw many many old friends from growing up and school days. So many people grew up so well in the arms of the Flagstaff community. Some of the school pals I saw are carrying on the traditions that raised Nate and my generation there in Flagstaff. And others of us have taken root elsewhere and do our life’s work in other places. I am proud to be part of this legacy.

    I am so grateful to the Avery family for opening their hearts to all of us during this profoundly unexpected time of loss. Each of Nate’s siblings and his wife and close friends nourished each person there with a powerful dose of Nate powerful love and zest for life and I think inspired everyone to channel their sadness into commitment to their families, their community and especially young people.

    When I knew Nate as a very young fellow a year younger than me I was always fascinated by this unusual fellow kid who really really loved birds. The lovely memorial yesterday certainly helped me pull Nate from the murky waters of Lake Powell back into the air where he belonged. For me, every bird I see will keep the spirit of Nate Avery alive and well.

    • Kevin Sage & Family
    • Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm
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    Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddox,
    I cannot begin to express our sadness with Nate’s passing. I know I could never begin to understand what you guys are going through. All I can offer now is my sincerest prayers for your family even though we are hundreds of miles away I’m keeping you guys in my thoughts. Please look us up next time you are in Kentucky.

    Love You Guys Always,
    Kevin

    • Keith, Becca, Leah & Aubrey Harris
    • Posted August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm
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    Dear Avery family,
    There have been so many times this week that I have tried and failed to write this note to you. Avoiding it let me delay accepting the sad truth for a while.

    We have spent the week recalling our memories of Nate. Keith remembers his brother, Nate, and some friends re-creating Van Halen’s Jump music video performance at church in high school. He thought they were so cool. I remember the first time I met Nate—at a barbecue at the Tuckers’ many years ago. He was on his way out with a huge grin on his face. He was on his way to see Annette and was obviously really excited about it. Throughout the years, I would see him occasionally at friends’ houses, at work, and as his patient. His sense of humor and impish grin, in any situation, is what I will always remember best about him.

    As a patient, he had a profound effect on my life. Directly, by fixing me up and relieving my pain so I could enjoy life again; but he also influenced my healthcare indirectly. On at least two occasions, doctors of mine referred to Nate’s treatment philosophy, which they had adopted as their own. He was well-loved and -respected by all who knew him.

    It is still hard to believe that we will no longer see him downtown or get to laugh at his mischievous sense of humor. I could always picture Nate as an old man — Ol’ Doc Nate — white hair thinning in the front, slightly hunched from all those hours operating–still happy and cantankerous. The future won’t be as bright without him, but we are all the better for having known him.

    With love,
    Keith, Becca, Leah & Aubrey Harris

    • Dave,Sue,Rachel and John Stilley
    • Posted August 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm
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    Take care of your brother and help one another
    you can make a difference every day
    laugh with your children and look for the wisdom
    in the things they do and say
    be good to your wife every day of your life
    and tell her what you’re dreaming of
    ’cause when it’s all over you’ll finally discover
    the only thing that matters…is sharing your love

    -Chorus from “Sharing your Love”sung at Nate’s celebration

    Our niece Denise Stilley,filmed the service and there should be a youtube link shortly.

    All of you are awsome,we feel so lucky to be associated with such fine people.Thanks for all the love Nate

  234. Annette,

    I cannot express to you the deep sadness I feel in my heart for you and the kids. May God bless you with peace and strength. I count it as a blessing to have had the chance to become friends with you and Nate. I only wish we had more time to know each other better. Nate really was an impressive person. I will always think of Nate’s sense of humor and his humility. I have appreciated the website very much. All of the pictures and stories are so very beautiful. Thank you to all who have contributed.

    Please know that I am here and will do whatever I can to help you and your family in this time.

    May God bless you and hold you close.

    Your friend,

    Jeff

    • Anne and Ron Walker
    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 7:22 am
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    Dear Annette and family. Proverbs 25:11 tells us, “The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.” How I wish I knew the right words to say to you at this time of profound loss and grief. There just aren’t any words that could possibly help.

    Your Nate was such a gifted and caring human, full of compassion and humor and an infectious zest for life. That he was taken so young, is so hard to accept and comprehend. His loss can not be measured, but we can always be grateful that we were blessed to know him.

    We send our love, prayers and friendship to you, always. Anne and Ron

  235. My mother called me last night to inform me of this very sad news. My condolences to Nate’s family. I have many fond memories of our time together at Flag high and I’m so terribly sorry for your loss………Paul Franz

    • Matt, Paige, Jake, Mekenna and Ella Walton
    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:35 am
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    We were so sorry to hear about the loss of Nate. We will keep you in all our thoughts and prayers. May God bless and comfort you and your family.

    The Walton’s

    • Charles & Kathy (Householder)Henry
    • Posted August 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm
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    Even though the years and the miles separate us, we want to send the Avery Family our warmest and most heartfelt condolences. My husband and I are from FHS class of ’86, we graduated between Nate and Thad. When the news of your unimaginable tragedy reached us we immediately felt the loss for your family and the ripple effect it has on the Flagstaff community. Nate’s passing has us aching for all of you. May the community of Flagstaff, FHS graduates and the medical community surround you all with love and support. Flagstaff has a homegrown champion, Nate Avery, and we feel privileged to have crossed paths with him. One way we will strive to honor Nate, and his amazing accomplishments; will be to take a page from his book — love deeply, laugh daily and live life fully. Our deepest sympathy – Charles and Kathy (Householder) Henry

    • Derek Eggers and family
    • Posted August 29, 2012 at 3:54 am
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    Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddox,
    I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about Nate. Kevin called yesterday to let me know. The memories of you guys as neighbors in Kentucky are some of my fondest. Nate has impacted so many lives and I’m fortunate to know him. He is loved and will be missed. Please look us up if you’re in Kentucky.
    -Derek

  236. I was so lucky to be working in NSICU when Dr. Avery was a resident there. What a wonderful man and doctor. He was always so good to us nurses. We loved how he drove Dr Young crazy. He had a flair for vintage eyeglass frames. We all got on him for working with a band saw. Surgeons shouldn’t do that. The world just won’t be the same without him in it. I am so sorry for the loss that Dr Avery’s family is experiencing.

  237. My deepest condolences to all of Nates family. You will bear the greatest loss, and always hold the deepest feelings that others can only imagine. He was a notch above all others. As a Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Friend, Colleague, and Surgeon, to many many people that required the touch that he posessed. A young man, with very tallented skilles at his age, One could only imagine his unlimited tallent and skills that he would have developed and honed if he were give many more years to do so. He will be greatly missed by all. Sincerily, Ron Kester,Page-Lake Powell.

    • Mary Delduca, Jarod and Dalton
    • Posted August 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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    Dear Avery Family, the celebration of Nate’s life last Friday was beautiful, thank you for allowing so many of us to be a part of that. As time passes and things settle down, you will enter a new phase of your lives. Call on us any time for support and assistance. Love, Mary, Jarod and Dalton (Rutledge)

  238. Among Nate’s many gifts was clearly his ability to make EVERYONE feel IMPORTANT! If he liked you, you knew it. We will try to emulate that lifestyle with each path we cross, everyday! Annette, you knew how much Nate loved you, worshiped you, supported you every single day, we all did:) He couldn’t be around you without bragging! Cora, Thad and Maddie, your Dad was so proud of you and so excited to support any cause you were associated with (i.e. a dodgeball legend in his own mind). You all must be so proud of the difference your Dad has made in the lives of so many people as he crossed their paths with enthusiasm, compassion, kindness and humor! He had so much more to do and we can only find comfort in knowing that he spent everyday giving each one of you the tools you will need to continue to live a great life! His presence will be with you ALWAYS as you each continue to make him the proudest man we know!
    We love you Averys now and always! Marc, Janelle, Mason and Aaron

  239. avery family the mosh family can not stop thinking and praying for each of you. everyday another memory pops into my head of what a special person,friend and doctor nate was. we love you guys. nate’s life was so short but thankfully he lived everyday so full that in his short time here he built a legacy. what a beautiful family that is here to live out what should have been many more days. i know you get so many hugs and kisses we want you to know that we want to give all of you 5 more hugs and kisses, god bless- ashley, tamir, alexandra, sara and trey mosharrafa

    • Gwen (Wendy) McGaugh Groth
    • Posted August 31, 2012 at 9:29 am
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    Dear Avery Family,

    While it may seem that the world around you is returning to regular routines, please know that it is done with heavy hearts. We all continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you move on in a world without Nate.

    ~Wendy

    • Dr. Emilio Alvarado & Cathy Page-Alvarado
    • Posted September 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm
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    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Avery Family. We are truly saddened by your loss. Dr. Avery was an extremely talented neurosurgeon, experienced aviator, and had a tremendous heart. Dr. Avery was responsible for my ability to be able to walk again, and be without pain. We both enjoyed our conversations with him, and the humbleness that he displayed. He will be deeply missed.

    • Harold & Shirley Snyder
    • Posted September 2, 2012 at 12:50 am
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    Our sincerest sympathy to Mrs Avery and the children and Dr Nate’s staff. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. One often asks “Why do the good die young?”. It is my firm belief that the good Lord gathers up the best and brightest of his children to make ready for those of us who may not have learned all the lesson life has to teach. They stand as a guard of honor at the gates of Heaven. God Bless you all.

    • Erin & Mark Maxwell
    • Posted September 2, 2012 at 8:33 am
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    Annette, Maureen, Chris, Thad, and Dr.Charles (and their families) — our hearts grieve with you and for you. You’ve lost not only a caring husband, brother, and son, but a best friend and comrade in wrenching out the most fun in each day. He will always be remembered for the God-given twinkle in his eyes and lively enthusiasm for his sister, Mo, and her love of adventure! It was refreshing to have a living example of siblings getting along so well (especially in their late teens and early twenties) 🙂 Thank you, Nate, for the dear reminder that every day is a precious gift.
    As we reflect on Nate’s impact to our lives, may we remember to love well, place others needs before our own, and to live each day without regret. Dear Avery’s, may you feel the Lord’s loving hug and comfort
    with you always.

    • gabi & richard rosenblum
    • Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:06 am
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    Dear Annette and family.

    Richard and I were so incredibly sad and emotionally emptied when we heard about Nate’s passing. Though it has been 17 plus years since we were all in Kentucky during residencies, we both remember you and Nate with great fondness. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We will always remember Nate as an incredibly and genuinely nice and down to earth human being.

    With our deepest sympathies.

    Gabi & Richard Rosenblum

    • The Mackell/O'Briens
    • Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie and all the Avery family,
    We are so tremendously sad with you at this time. We loved Nate’s impish spirit and adventure for life.
    He went out of his way to make the day better for everyone. There was not a day I saw him in the hospital that he did not make me smile and laugh about something. He had such a gentle touch with sick kids. He talked about all of you and was the proudest dad and husband.
    Thank you for sharing him with the world like you did.
    Love, Sheila, John, Devin & Dan

    • Debbie Paothatat
    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm
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    Dear Avery family,
    There has not been a day that has gone by without thinking about Nate and the impact he has had on all of our lives. The memory of him wandering through 3-North’s Nurses Station with that goofy grin of his, sharing the latest joke, YouTube video or crazy song he’d sing for us keeps playing over and over in my mind. Thinking about him fills the heart with joy yet at the same time breaks it. The legacy of his beautiful soul will live on in all of the lives he has touched. Thank you for sharing him with us!
    Debbie Paothatat

    • Jen, Lew, Ellie and Annie Coggins
    • Posted September 6, 2012 at 2:46 am
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    Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, and Maddie:
    The news of Nate’s passing has reached us here in North Carolina and has touched us all profoundly, especially Lew who grew up in Flagstaff and remembers Nate fondly both as a grown man as well as a teen. Our hearts go out to you during this time of transition and grieving. Know that your loss spans across the country and that we here in NC are thinking of you and remembering the monumental impact Nate has had on all of Flagstaff.

    With all our best,
    The Coggins

  240. Dearest Annette,
    I just returned from two weeks away and Pam let me know about Nate’s passing. My heart breaks for you and with you in this loss. My prayer for Nate, you and your family is for a sense of love and comfort to prevail during this time, and in the coming days. Words truly fail. I am so sorry for your loss. With love and respect, Aleia O’Reilly

  241. I was talking to a woman here in Show Low about the amazing care my husband recieved 7 years ago by a Dr. Nathan Avery. She listened to me talk about how Dr Avery took such amazing care of my husband both before, during and after brain surgery. She listened to me talk about how scared I was and how Dr Avery had nothing but words of encouragement, laughter and compassion for my husband and for myself. I spoke about how at the time my daughter was 6 and wanted to see her daddy in the hospital and how Dr Avery took her by the hand and led her to the hospital stairway inside the hospital and sat with her and played with a Slinky my daughter had and how I stood back and watched both of them laugh,,I told this woman that not only is Dr. Avery an amazing Dr but also a very kind, witty, caring and upbeat man who spoke often of his wife and children. It was during this moment that this woman who is also a Dr told me about Dr. Avery’s passing and what she knew about the accident. I was saddened and my heart ached for his family, freinds and co-workers. When God created Dr. Nathan Avery’s, He did an amazing job and will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends along with his co-worker.

  242. Dear Annette & Family,
    No words can possibly accurately express the shock and overwhelming saddnes I felt today when I learned of Nate’s passing. I was a patient of his about 6 years ago. He was the most caring, genuine, compassionate doctor I have ever met. I was injured 12 years ago and met Nate about 5 years later. I can tell you that he was the only doctor I have had that didn’t suffer from the “I am God” complex! He sent me to the Barrows Institute to see a world renowned doctor. He thought this doctor should do my surgery. I returned and said “absolutely not! I trusted Nate”. When I first met him, he had pictures everywhere of you and your children. When we talked about you, his face glowed and his eyes shined. He told me how much he loved you. We talked about his work. He listened to how frustrated I was with the medical field. Most importantly he heard me and treated me as an important human being. He truly lived the oath he took as a doctor. I had several friends ask me about him when they needed a doctor. I cannot imagine the loss you, your family, friends and his staff are experiencing. He lived his life to the fullest, was well loved and will be greatly missed. I can only send you prayers and love in your time of sorrow. Godspeed Nate

  243. Annette, I think of you and the kids every day. I am surrounding you all with love. Pete told me about the memorial service and how touched he was by what you said. You are a strong and beautiful woman, and an inspiration to our community. Blessings on all of you!

  244. When I first heard of Nate’s accident my impulse was to sell my boat and never go to Lake Powell again. In time I realized that was the last thing Nate would want any of us to do. His love for Lake Powell and being outdoors with family and friends has sparked the same enthusiasm in so many of us. Yesterday I returned from several days at “Nate’s Lake” and with heavy hearts we entered Padre Bay and said a silent prayer for our infamous colleage and friend. May God bless you Nate and continue to give strength to your family. Love Gert

  245. Annette and family
    my heart goes out to all of you and can’t imagine your saddness. I am sorry that I was out of the country and could not attend the memorial service in his honor. Your family family will be in my prayers daily. May your memories keep him alive forever.

  246. I have meaning to post on the site, but lost the link for a while. I would first like to send all my thoughts and prayers to this family. I know the community at large is missing this man greatly. He was an amazing influence, and one who made a impact in my life directly. Following a car accident and a serious concussion this man was assigned to look at case. He is one of the few doctors I have ever encountered who I felt comfortable around. His humor, kindness, and compassion was incredible. He took time out of his busy schedule to make every patient feel important. Working with him really was a joy. It saddens me how many patients in the Flagstaff will not have this man to go to anymore. He will truly be missed.

  247. Annette

    I am very sorry for your loss. We are living abroad this year but think of you and your family often. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

    Jane

    • Sam Sweeten, MHSA, RHIA
    • Posted October 23, 2012 at 6:54 am
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    Annette & Family:

    I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Avery at FMC several years ago. I worked in the Medical Records department from 2003-2005, helping the physicians complete their unsigned charts. I fondly remember his sense of humor and his smile.

    I was shocked to learn of his death from a colleague at my current employer in Kansas City, KS. While I did not know him extremely well, I still wish you and your family peace and comfort.

    Best wishes.

    Sam Sweeten, MHSA, RHIA

  248. Missing you everyday, Doc.
    Love always

  249. I have just learned about Dr. Avery’s accident and I am saddened at this tragic loss. He was my surgeon and I am forever grateful to him for doing such an amazing job and helping me to walk again at full capacity. When I met him I knew immediately that he was the one that I trusted to perform such a delicate surgery. What a very gentle man, words don’t even come close to describing what I feel about this news. My condolence to the Annette and the kids.

  250. On Thanksgiving day one of the things I am most thankful for is that I had Nate in my life, although I truly wish it could have been for much much longer I know I and many other people are much much better people for having known him. To the Avery family and many friends I am wishing you peace for this upcoming and sure to be difficult holiday season.

    • Suzanne Motsinger
    • Posted December 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm
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    Ah, it is so beautiful that people are still posting to this site, and not the least bit surprising. I do not exagerate when I say that Nate’s name and legacy have come up every single day since his passing even in the small circle of the world that I inhabit – so imagine how alive he is in the greater world of Flagstaff and beyond. Maureen, the Best Life Ever bumperstickers are appearing everywhere, and the one on my car generates stories about Nate from total strangers where ever I park from trail heads to grocery store parking lots. It seems that everyone – every single person in this town, it seems – knew him or knew someone touched by him. At our PT clinic we have coined the phrase “WWND” – what would Nate do? – and this has inspired a more compassionate, patient, positive, and light-hearted approach in all our interactions and relationships. I hope this honors Nate’s life and maybe in some small measure salves his family’s loss. With the holidays here please know that I grieve for all of you all over again. I can’t imagine what it was like to have such a phenomenal human being as your husband, father, brother, son – for that you were all blessed and always will be.

  251. Dear Avery Family –

    My name is Dr. Ben Bobrow and I am the State EMS & Trauma Medical Director for Arizona. I had met Dr. Avery through his work on the State Trauma Advisory Board.

    I was extremely sorrowed to hear about your loss and thought you may find comfort in the current work which is going on in Arizona regarding delivering state of the art prehospital TBI care in Arizona.

    I know that Dr. Avery would be pleased and proud of this unique effort to improve outcomes for TBI victims in Arizona.

    Perhaps, if this is something you are interested in, we could link your website and Dr. Avery’s amazing life story to the EPIC web site.

    http://epic.arizona.edu/

    Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or ideas.

    Again, my deepest condolences and prayers are with you.

    Sincerely,
    Ben Bobrow

  252. I’m still so saddened for your loss. Dr. Avery figured out in literally 10 minutes what other doctors could not figure out (and were happy just to cover up the symptoms with meds) for 18 months! I am so grateful our lives intersected – he rid me of chronic pain and I am so thankful! He was so genuinely nice, kind, friendly, funny, humble, brilliant, caring, smart, and down to earth. Each visit I had with him he mentioned his wife and kids and talked about the river – both with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. He showed us the textbook with his device for babies’ spines; he was proud, but not bragging… very humble. I enjoyed his jokes and smiles and superb care! I hope his family and friends know what a huge difference Nate made in the lives of people who barely knew him. God must’ve needed him for a very special baby’s care.

    • Jill, James, Abby and Alex Cole
    • Posted January 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm
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    Dear Annette and family,

    James and I were shocked and terribly grieved by recently hearing about the loss of your father, husband and friend. We met Nate and Annette while in residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. We have considered them special friends ever since then even though many miles have kept us apart. Nate was always the warm hearted person with an off-the-wall joke that would make you smile (i.e. How can corn be nutritious when it comes out the same way it goes in!). We all went camping together and had spam for dinner. Later it seemed like hundreds of raccoons were playing with the empty cans in the middle of the night – a lesson well learned! He was always generous and let us drive the old yellow truck from Kentucky to Texas after James’ grandmother passed away. It was the best ride ever as it had no radio or TV but good old conversation that made the trip unforgettable. We had our daughter, Abby, in 1999 and Cora joined her parents for a visit. It was obvious how he loved children just by the way he cuddled Abby like she was his own. We were close to moving to Flagstaff to practice in your community in 2001 but other family obligations kept us in the midwest. That was the last time we saw Nate but will always remember him and his wonderful character and impact he had on others. Although we are many miles away, we are praying for you!

    Much Love, Jiil, James, Abby and Alex

  253. Dear Annette, Cora, Thad, Maddie:

    Our hearts are with you this weekend as you remember Nate’s birthday. If our world were full of more Nate Averys, the world we be a much better place. There aren’t very many people who had the impact he had on so many people’s lives. Just read all the tributes – it is truly amazing. I wish I had words to ease your sadness, but just know as the years go by the pain will be replaced by loving memories of a wonderful father.

    With Love,
    John, Carolyn, Tyler & Jimmie Carr

  254. Annette – I just found out about Dr. Avery and I am so sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful person and a great healer. My best to you and your family. Dyana

    • George & Patti Pugh
    • Posted March 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm
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    Annette, we think of you and Nate absolutely every day. We love you two so much.

    • Kelly Spagnuolo & family
    • Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm
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    Man oh man! Annette, Cora, Thad & Maddie-
    Tough week & days ahead for you as you come upon a year since your sweet husband & Dad passed! Weak in the knees, pain in the gut, loss in the heart! Please know we are holding you close and keeping that sweet man’s memory alive!

    Love you all!

  255. It’s been a year. I think of Nate multiple times every day. Sometimes because something reminds me of him. Sometimes just because. BLE stickers are everywhere. It’s like his spirit has gone viral. Actually, it had done that before he passed away, it’s just better documented with the stickers. He had such a rare gift of having a positive effect on absolutely everyone who came in contact with him. No one can forget him. No one can think of him without recalling some experience with him and smiling. I believe that the true healing for the Avery’s can now begin. It is now known what life will be like without him physically here. It will still be awesome, because of him.

  256. Dear, dear Avery’s.. For the last couple of weeks you have been in my thoughts and my heart. I am/we are sending love and light your way.

    • carlene and earl werner
    • Posted September 9, 2014 at 8:48 am
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    My husband and I travel all over the US for his job. We were so lucky to have found Dr. Avery. He operated on me twice, literally saving my life the last time. I had always said no matter where I was, if I needed another surgery I would come back to Flagstaff and have Dr Avery do it.

    We are living in Va now and I recently had an MRI. It turns out I need a pretty extensive surgery. God works in mysterious ways, it so happens my new Neurosurgeon knew Dr. Avery from med school. It makes me feel like he is still watching over me. I miss him terribly. and the medical community is missing one of the finest surgeons I ever met. Not only was he skilled, but so down to earth. Every time we saw him, he and my husband talk about his brothers photography in his office. and he always had a funny story about the 2 of them.

    In the past 12 yrs having to have multiple back and neck surgery I know there will never be anyone else like him. He had such a special way of calming your nerves and always was there to lend an ear.

    we miss you and our prayers are with his family and friends


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