Ernest Douglas Avery, Jr.
March 4, 1941 – June 21, 2023
On a brisk Tuesday in March of 1941, Ernest Douglas Avery, Jr. entered the world, born to Annie Lee Lockamy Hudson Avery and Ernest Douglas Avery in rural Sampson County, NC. On the first day of summer 2023, just over 82 years later, the good Lord called Ernest to his eternal home. A humble beginning, and an honorable end, yet, “the dash” in between Ernest’s start and finish lines is perhaps the most meaningful and definitely a worthwhile read.
Throughout his life, in addition to being a son and a brother, Ernest wore many different hats; as husband, father, Papa Ernie to the first six, and great Papa Ernie to a host of lively little boys, Ernest leaves behind an incredible legacy, one that is deep rooted in the value of hard work. Back in that day and age, it was rare that one did not appreciate the value of a hard earned dollar, and Ernest certainly put in the hours to help provide for his family. He spent a good chunk of time working at Hamilton Beach, forging a number of lifelong friendships there; however, the majority of his working days were spent in and around the plant Sampson County residents first came to know as Lundy’s, a place where Ernest dedicated 31 years of service.
In 1962, Ernest married the love of his life, Peggy Murrell Barts, his saving grace. Together, they raised three children: Phyllis Ann, Ernest Dwight, and Ernestine Michelle. The two were married for an impressive 60 years before Peggy went to be with Jesus in August of 2022. There was never a dull moment when it came to Ernest; he definitely kept his family and friends on the edge of their seats. Ernest could strike up a conversation with just about anyone, and he always had a good joke to tell that was sure to make those around him laugh. Although he had an air of mischief about him, he was no doubt a kind man with a good heart, someone who was there for his family through thick and thin.
With Peggy by his side, Ernest was an active member of Bethany PWFB Church, where the two spent most of their Sunday mornings after visiting the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. In times of tribulation, Ernest never failed to find solace in God’s abundant grace and mercy. He had a subtle peace about him that was most reassuring to those who knew him, and his positive outlook on life was unmatched.
When he was not working, Ernest enjoyed being outdoors. He was an avid hunter and an occasional fisherman. Ernest was part of the Tom Kerr Buck Club, where he spent many early mornings, late afternoons and evenings with buddies while deer hunting. More often than not, Ernest could be found mowing grass in the late summer afternoons on Rowan Road. Ernest took pride in his family, and there was sure to be joy in his presence, especially when his grandchildren and great grandchildren were around.
Ernest is preceded in death by his parents; his four siblings: Jarvis Butler Hudson, Edward Hudson, Raeford Edgar Hudson, and Allie Lee Avery Bell; his wife of 60 years, Peggy Murrell Barts Avery; and his beloved oldest daughter, Phyllis Ann Avery Lane. Surviving to carry on his legacy are his two children: Ernestine Michelle Avery Murphy (Dennis) of Clinton, NC and Ernest Dwight Avery (Robyn) of Roseboro, NC; a son-in-law, Jackie Ambrose Lane of Clinton, NC; six grandchildren: Hillary Jeanne Avery Loflin (Landon) of Zebulon, NC, Laura Beth Lane Wood (Gilliam) of Raleigh, NC, Sarah Abigail Murphy of Wilmington, NC, Isabell Murphy Kelley (Austin) of Lillington, NC, Jackson Dwight Avery of Roseboro, NC, and Dorothy Victoria Lane of Clinton, NC; five great grandchildren: Avery Cotton Loflin, Declan James Kelley, Sawyer David Loflin, Isaac Daniel Kelley, and John Gilliam Wood VI; a host of special nieces and nephews, including niece Kimia Davis (James Earl), whom he loved like his own, of Roseboro, NC; two treasured great, great nieces, Candace and Kaylee; and many cherished friends.
To honor Ernest’s life and celebrate his homegoing, a service will be held at Bethany PFWB Church on Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 2 PM with Pastor Charles Ray Jernigan officiating. A visitation will be held with his family at the church following the service. In lieu of flowers, tribute donations may be made in Ernest’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Bethany PWFB Church.