March Views 2006
Obituary: Janet Morrow Avery, 1926-2006
|Editor's note: Keweenaw Now wishes to
extend to Eugene "Bud" Avery and other members of Janet Avery's
family our sincere expression of sympathy in this time of sorrow. We will
never forget Janet and her determination to protect the health of Lake
Superior and the quality of life here in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
GRATIOT LAKE -- Janet Morrow Avery, 79, of Gratiot Lake, Keweenaw County, died Saturday,
March 11, at Marquette General Hospital, after a valiant fight, from complications of
She was the beloved wife of Eugene "Bud" Avery, and mother of Bruce Aller (Allison) of
Upton, MA; Vicki Bennett (Rich Luker) of Ann Arbor; Betsy Aller (Andrew Kline) of Kalamazoo;
and Laurel Avery-DeWitt (Ian) of Oshkosh, WI. Her dearly beloved grandchildren are Daniel
and Abigail Bennett and Max Avery-DeWitt. She also leaves her former son-in-law Ed
Kraai, her half-sister Mary Ahlin, and her half-brother Edward Morrow.
Born December 3, 1926, to Richard Joseph Morrow and Elizabeth Woodward Morrow in Waterbury,
CT, Janet graduated from Harbor High School, Ashtabula, OH, and attended Kent State
University before moving to the Detroit area. She received her BA and MA from Wayne State
University, and she taught English and journalism at Liggett School and Grosse Pointe North
High School in the Detroit area. Later she taught composition and technical writing in the
Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University from 1981 to 1991. She was a
conscientious and caring teacher and was much beloved by her students over the years.
From childhood on, Janet longed to live near Lake Superior, and in 1980 she and Bud moved to
their summer cottage on Gratiot Lake in Keweenaw County. For the next 25 years, she worked to
protect the environment of the Keweenaw. Janet was an active and articulate citizen at local
land use planning meetings, and she was instrumental in the early phases of protecting Bete
Grise from over-development. As founder and president of AWAKE (Association Working Against
Keweenaw Exploitation), she vigorously sought integrity and accountability for mining
activities proposed in the western Upper Peninsula and in Wisconsin.
| Janet and Bud Avery present a history of Keweenaw County land use planning at the Oct. 10,
2000, meeting of the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners. At that
meeting Janet Avery called for public input and challenged county
officials to cooperate with the Western Upper Peninsula Planning
Development District (WUPPDR) in the effort to develop a
comprehensive county land use plan. Two years of work by volunteer
township planning committees and WUPPDR followed, and the Keweenaw
County Planning/Zoning Commission adopted a land use plan in Dec. 2002.
The Commission is now working with zoning expert Mark Wyckoff of Planning and Zoning Center, Inc.,
Lansing, on the final revision of the County Zoning Ordinance. Click
here or on photo for larger version. (File
photo by Michele Anderson)
Janet was an avid gardener and enjoyed literature, cooking, politics, writing, and classical
music. She cared greatly for her animals, and her cats Robert and Lady Jane are adoptees
from the Keweenaw Animal Alliance.
Cremation was arranged by the O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home, and a memorial gathering in her
honor will be held in the spring. Expressions of support may be directed to the Janet M.
Avery Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Gratiot Lake Conservancy, or to the Keweenaw Animal
The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to Ray and Donna Peck and to Ed Kraai for their
support and friendship during this time; to the outstanding and caring nurses and doctors at
Marquette General Hospital; and to all those who kept Janet and her family in their thoughts
and prayers during this time.
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