St. Paul's Episcopal Church
520 Summit St, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Friday, Aug 28, 2015
May 08, 1932 - Aug 24, 2015
Gabriel Andrew Avram passed away Monday, August 24, 2015. He was born in Bucharest, Romania to David Andrew Avram and Hertha Niehaus. His father was an international lawyer with offices in Germany, Switzerland and Romania, where he lived and served as Chief Counsel to the King. During his early childhood, he lived in Romania, Germany, Switzerland and Cuba. During the war, his father established his law practice in Manhattan, New York. Garry graduated from high school at Trinity School in 1950. He then graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, PA in 1954. After serving two years in the Army, he graduated from Cornell Law School in 1959.
In 1955 before he left to serve in the Army, he married Patricia Finger from North Carolina. Pat and Garry met while they were both working summer jobs in Lake Placid, New York.
After law school, he spent several years in the legal department at General Foods in White Plains, New York. He then accepted a job in the legal department at R.J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem. Much of his work in the legal department involved intellectual property (patents and copyrights). When Reynolds diversified its businesses, Garry moved out of the legal department and became president of the R.J. Reynolds Food Company and Corporate Secretary of the company. In 1980, Garry left Reynolds to become president of Mayberry Corporation. He was instrumental in the successful turnaround of that company.
In the mid 80s, Garry went into private practice as a partner with Finger, Parker, Avram, and Roemer. During his time in private practice, Garry also served as the Executive Director of the Specialty Tobacco Counsel and in that role participated in the historic tobacco litigation settlement process. After retiring, he continued serving on the national panel of commercial arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
Garry was an extremely accomplished athlete. He played college and minor league baseball. He was an avid racket sports player, including squash, tennis, and he even played a mean game of ping pong. Garry and his son Andrew were the state father-son tennis champions one year, with his #1 fan Claus the dachshund looking on along with wife Pat. He was also a lifelong golfer and played many father-son events with son Randy in Pinehurst. Through work and pleasure, Pat and Garry traveled all over the world. He also loved hiking in the North Carolina mountains, especially with his grandchildren, and biking the Virginia Creeper Trail.
He had been a member of several organizations such as the New York/North Carolina State Bar and Bar Associations, Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem Tennis Association, Hospice of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Forsyth Hospital Authority, Old Town Club, New York Athletic Club, N.C. Nutrition Advisory Committee, N.C. Governor's Language Institute Advisory Board, Westchester N.Y. and Forsyth Young Republicans clubs, he had served as president of both. He was also a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Ossining, NY and St. Paul's in Winston-Salem, and the Stratford Rotary Club. He was president of the Yonahlossee Club. For many years he volunteered in the Ronald McDonald family room at Baptist and Forsyth hospitals.
Surviving him are his wife Pat; two sons Randy and Andrew and their wives Amy and Tammy; and five grandchildren, David, Andrew, Banks, Ally, and Gabe. He was predeceased by one grandson, Tucker Leighton Avram.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with a reception to follow at Old Town Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Ronald McDonald House and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.
James M. Niver
It is with the deepest sympathy I offer my condolences at this difficult time.
Trinity School, Class of 1950
My heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with you and family on the loss of your father.
please accept my condolences on the passing of your father...my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May the memories of happier times bring you peace and comfort.
Pat, I am thinking and praying for you and your family today. I remember Gary as a wonderful caring person who made a difference in many lives. I'm so glad that I was able to know Gary,you and your family during our tennis days. You and Gary will always have a special place in my heart! I'm so sorry that I will not be able to be at the service today. Gain strength with the support of God's care and that of family and friends. Love, Lea
Kathy and Mike Lewis
Pat: our sincerest condolences to you, Randy, Andy, and all the family.
We have always admired the Avram clan for your many contributions to not only the tennis world, but the community at large, both here in Winston Salem and at Yonahlossee.
Gary's infectious enthusiasm for tennis was certainly responsible for leading many a player to take up the game, and together you both were a great example for others on and off the courts.
You all will be in our thoughts and prayers. We wish you all much comfort at this difficult time.
My deepest condolences to the entire Avram family.I spent a lot of time at the Avram home during those "tennis" years after college and always felt welcome. Mr.& Mrs Avram were two of the most upbeat and supportive parents that I've ever met. My prayers are with the family now.
Andy, I'm so sorry to learn of your dad's passing. I really enjoyed reading about your dad's professional and athletic accomplishments. He truly left an amazing legacy.
Mrs. Avram - sorry about Mr. Avram's death. May God easy your sorrow and be a comfort for you during this tough/sad time.
Andy - May God's love/comfort be with you/family.
With my love and prayers,
(Mrs. Avram, you were so kind and played tennis with me while I worked as an attendant at Wake Forest's indoor tennis center)
I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing. I know you will cherish his memories and I pray they carry you through the the time to follow. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.
R. Neal Fine
Pat, so very sorry for your loss. We send prayers and a hope
of laughter in the future, reflecting wonderful moments of life.