Richard Avery

PORTLAND/ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I./GREAT CRANBERRY ISLAND – Richard “Dick” Avery, 83, died peacefully at the Gosnel House in Scarborough of complications from dementia and melanoma.

He was born in New York, N.Y., to Cal and Louise Avery on July 26, 1933. Graduating from Bard College with a degree in sculpture was a proud accomplishment.

In 1956, he entered the Army. After two years of being landlocked in Oklahoma, Dick bought a one way ticket to St Thomas, U.S.V.I.

In a twist of fate, he met his Swedish wife of over 55 years, Marianne. They lived for eight years on a houseboat Dick built and then a pole house he designed and built on the north side of the island.

After captaining many day trips on a 65-foot schooner, he realized his passengers knew as much or more about sailing as he did so he founded bareboat chartering and opened Avery’s Boathouse in Frenchtown. He became a Pearson Yacht dealer. He had a fleet of 24 boats for charter. He owned one that captured his heart, “Joker.” The stateside owners loved having their boat located in some of the best sailing in the world. He helped build the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Dick wanted his family to experience Maine summers as he had, camping at Seawall, so in 1970 he purchased “the shack” on Great Cranberry Island. When asked by his daughter his greatest accomplishment, he answered “The Cranberry Gull,” a 41-foot trawler he and his son designed and built here in Maine and took home to St. Thomas in 1987.

He loved his family, classical music, being on the water, reading and all animals but most of all cats!

He was predeceased by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Marianne Rudhner Avery, daughter Ingrid Avery, wife, Bonnie LePage, son, Morgan Richard Avery, wife, Margaret Hahn Avery, two granddaughters, Emmy Avery Witham and Madelyn Louise Avery, and sister Ann Gardener of Tortola, B.V.I.

A celebration of life will be held at Unity of Greater Portland 54 River Road, Windham, on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, send a contribution to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, P.O. Box 336, Westbrook, ME 04098 or

Know when to pay your respects.