James Frederick Avery

August 14, 1959 ~ December 29, 2023 (age 64) 64 Years Old

James Avery Obituary

James Frederick Avery (Jim) was born on August 14, 1959, in Ithaca, New York. He attended Ithaca High School, graduating in 1977. In high school, Jim swam competitively, he was a 3-time All-American and ranked 8th nationally in the 15-18 age group. Jim held team records at Ithaca High which stood for 38 years and earned a swimming scholarship to Indian River Community College. Jim was captain of the swim team at Indian River and received his associate degree in 1979. While at Indian River he was a member of two National Junior College Swimming Championships. A 12-time NJCAA All-American and held two NJCAA individual records and three NJCAA relay records. Jim continued his academic and swimming career at Auburn University, where he trained with and competed against some of the best swimmers in the nation. Jim returned to Ithaca in 1981 and joined his family-owned business, The Home Dairy Bakery and Cafeteria. For 16 years, Jim was the face of the Home Dairy, greeting and interacting with customers daily at the bakery counter and in the cafeteria. During this time, Jim also worked at The Haunt at Green Street Alley, working days at the Home Dairy and nights at The Haunt. In 1993, Jim formed his music and entertainment company Avery Sound Company, providing disc jockey (DJ) and event sound support services. Jim combined his knowledge and love of music, his big, extroverted personality, and his love of making people happy, and DJed so many important events in people’s lives weddings, parties, reunions. In 1997, Jim began working at Cornell University in IT and AV support positions, supporting large televised university events. After retirement from Cornell in 2014, Jim continued work as a Broadcast Specialist for Ithaca College and eventually moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. In St. Petersburg, he worked for GMX7, where he helped promote a new swimming training device to some of the best swimmers and coaches in the world, always looking to push the sport of swimming ahead. Jim returned to Ithaca, and in his most recent years, remained an active supporter of local music acts and the sport of swimming through his coaching of swimmers at all levels. 

Jim was predeceased by his father, Robert W. Avery. Jim is survived by his mother, Nancy Emmi Avery, his beloved sons, James Frederick Avery, Jr. (Jake) and Brett Avery, his brother, Bill Avery (Carol Minton Morris), and his niece and nephew, Meghan and Nick Avery. 

Jim was a large personality, he loved meeting and greeting people, loved to joke and laugh, to make people smile, and loved life. Jim loved his music and was passionate about a variety of music groups and genres with an encyclopedic memory of bands and artists. Jim loved the sport of swimming; he was an avid fan and supporter of both local and national swimming competitions. Jim deeply loved his family and friends, always showing just how much they meant to him. And last and above all else, he unconditionally loved his sons, Jake and Brett, and always expressed how proud he was of them. 

Calling hours will be held at Bangs Funeral Home, 209 West Green Street, Ithaca NY, from 3-6 pm on Friday, January 5, 2024. Funeral services will be held at Bangs Funeral Home at 11 am on Saturday, January 6, 2024.  

For those who wish to remember and pay tribute to Jim, please consider donating to the Ithaca Sports Boosters (, as Jim was always involved with Ithaca Athletics as an athlete, parent, and supporter.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Frederick Avery, please visit our floral store.

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January 5, 2024

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Bangs Funeral Home
209 W Green St.
Ithaca, NY 14850

Funeral Service
January 6, 2024

11:00 AM
Bangs Funeral Home
209 W Green St.
Ithaca, NY 14850


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