William Avery III (March 12, 1948 - May 30, 2023)

In loving memory of
William Avery III
  • March 12, 1948
  • -
  • May 30, 2023

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Obituary

William “Bill” H. Avery, III

William H. Avery, III, passed away on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in New Smyrna Beach due to complications from cancer. He passed with his beloved wife right by his side in the hospital and surrounded by all the love from his family.

Affectionately known as “Bill” to most, he possessed a radiant spirit that brought laughter, self-reflection, and a profound desire to love, achieve, and grow. Being in his presence always left you feeling uplifted and better.

Bill was born on March 12, 1948, in Rome, Georgia, to Howard Wyatt Avery and Ava Lee Ayers Avery. His boyhood began on a farm where he loved playing with the pigs and horses, occasionally causing mischief and playing jokes on his mother. He endured and recovered from several serious illnesses starting from a young age, with many stories ending with the words, “It was a miracle he survived;” miracles became a through-line to his life, with Jesus right by his side. Rome has always held a special place in his heart because it is home to his childhood, and he grew up with loving parents, sisters Doris, Jane, Ruth, Sharon, and brother Truett.

During his teenage years, the Vietnam War began, and while in college, Bill enlisted in the Air Force, serving as a Medic from 1968 to 1972. Following his military service, he returned to Rome and pursued a career as a nurse in a local hospital. Although he found fulfillment in helping individuals heal and recover from severe injuries, his passion for saving lives and preventing harm led him to transition into the safety industry.

He was a trailblazer in safety and security. He has left an indelible legacy through his lifelong dedication to ensuring safety and promoting health in the amusement ride, device, and entertainment industry. Bill was a stalwart in the field for over four decades, advocating for safety and setting standards that would change the industry forever.

Bill’s illustrious career began in 1976 as the inaugural Safety Manager at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. During his tenure, he implemented one of the leading safety programs in the United States. His exceptional work led to his promotion to Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri, where he spearheaded safety and health for the Busch Entertainment Corporation’s national amusement parks and tours and Wholesale Operations Division.

In 1986, Bill returned to his beloved Florida to join SeaWorld Parks, Inc., a Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich (H.B.J.) division, serving as the Safety Director. Nine months later, he was promoted to Vice President of Safety, Security, Rides, and General Maintenance for Boardwalk & Baseball, Inc. There; he was pivotal in ensuring safety for all guests, employees, and the Kansas City Royals during their spring training seasons.

Undeniably, Bill’s most significant professional contribution emerged in 1990 when he channeled his vast experience into his venture, Avery Safety Consulting, Inc. Offering expert witness services alongside safety consulting, Bill served clients not only across 46 states, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Canada, Turkey, Hong Kong, and England but also within a variety of industries and for a myriad of clients from Universal Studios (working on E.T., Jaws, & Jurassic Park) to West Gate Resorts, and during major events like the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and World Cup Soccer. He also contributed to the safety protocols for renowned film and T.V. productions like Paper, Cowboy Way, Law & Order, Marley and Me. This extensive and varied work has left an enduring and global mark on the safety landscape of the amusement industry. His passion and dedication will inspire industry professionals and influence future safety standards.

More than that, his compassionate heart will leave a profound and enduring mark on this planet and all those fortunate enough to have crossed paths with him. Bill himself would attest that the greatest gift he ever received was the love he shared with his beloved wife. His children and grandchildren, affectionately calling him “Papa,” would tell you that their greatest blessing was experiencing his unwavering love as a father and grandfather. Every day, he poured his heart, soul, kindness, wisdom, strength, and presence into his entire family.

He is survived by his loving wife, Libby Avery, who was his lifelong partner and source of endless love and support. His memory lives on through his children, Brian Avery and Nicolle Avery Masters, and his grandchildren, Dylan Avery, Peyton Avery, Skyler Avery, and Morgan Masters. He also leaves behind his children-in-law, Kelly Avery and John Masters, as well as his sisters Jane Avery Donahue, Sharon Parker, Ruth Payne, sister-in-law Brenda Avery, nephews Steve Billings, David Payne, Butch Payne, and nieces Ann Payne, Mary Mathis, Susan Raza, Georgia Heard, Holly Burton, and Paige Rendon. Numerous other individuals deeply cherish him, and although their names are not mentioned here, Bill and his family hold them close in their hearts.

Bill firmly believed that the world needed more love, and he tirelessly spread kindness through his words, hugs, and sense of humor, ensuring that the world became a better place. Each day, we felt the warmth of his love. Through his dedication to love, his legacy will forever enhance the world because love endures. His love continues to thrive within each of us.

Rest in peace, Bill, Dad, and Papa. It is now our duty to follow the example you set for us by loving more, doing more, and becoming more—just as you showed us.

A celebration of life service will take place in mid-July in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.


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  1. Elizabeth Sherer says:
    20 Jun 2023
    Truly one of the greatest. I will continue to play Don Williams in your honor and as a reminder of miracles and love.
    All the love and support to his beautiful family-
    Elizabeth (Beth)

  2. Elizabeth Sherer says:
    20 Jun 2023
    Truly one of the greatest. I will continue to play Don Williams in your honor and as a reminder of miracles and love.
    All the love and support to his beautiful family-
    Elizabeth (Beth)

  3. Elizabeth Sherer lit a candle:
    20 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 20, 2023 at 6:48:38 PM

  4. Jane Donahue lit a candle:
    12 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 12, 2023 at 6:51:56 AM

  5. Jane Donahue lit a candle:
    12 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 12, 2023 at 6:50:58 AM

  6. Sharon Parker lit a candle:
    09 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 9, 2023 at 6:23:26 AM

  7. Brian D. Avery lit a candle:
    08 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 8, 2023 at 6:38:46 AM

  8. Brian D. Avery says:
    08 Jun 2023
    I love you, Dad! I miss you!!!

  9. Margot Shields says:
    06 Jun 2023
    My condolences to Robby and Mary & Bob Mathis on the loss of their Uncle Bill.

  10. Mary W Mathis lit a candle:
    05 Jun 2023
    Lit since June 5, 2023 at 6:18:14 PM

  11. Mary W Mathis says:
    05 Jun 2023
    What a perfect story of Uncle Bill’s life. He will be greatly missed.

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