ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., and BREWER – George Wyman Avery Jr., 78, passed away unexpectedly Dec. 11, 2010, at a local hospital. He was born Aug. 14, 1932, in Cambridge, Mass., to George W. Avery and Thelma (Fitzgerald) Avery. He was raised in Eastport by his grandparents, Albert F. and Ida B. Avery. Upon graduation from Shead Memorial High School, George enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a paratrooper with the 508th Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division. He proudly served with the Maine National Guard and retired after 25 years of service. While serving with the National Guard, George earned business degrees from Husson College, Bangor, and Columbia University, New York City. George began his career in health care as credit manager at Calais Regional Hospital. In 1965 he became the first CEO of Downeast Community Hospital, Machias, and remained there for five years. He then served as CEO at James A. Taylor Osteopathic Hospital, Bangor, from 1969 to 1982. While at Taylor Hospital, he joined Hospital Corporation of America and became CEO of Florida Keys Memorial Hospital, Key West, Fla., in 1982. As life tends to go full circle, in 1990, George was asked to return to Downeast Community Hospital as CEO. In 1996 he semi-retired and became interim CEO of Mayo General Hospital, Dover-Foxcroft. George retired from health care administration in 1997. During his career in hospital administration, George served as chairman of Maine Hospital Association, and was active in Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Lions Club, Jaycees and Navy League. George was a gentleman to all, a friend to many, but most of all, a very loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved being with his family and close friends, and when it included the ocean, fishing and watching the Red Sox, life was near perfect. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Joyce E. (Tyler) Avery; a son, Michael W. Avery and his wife, Darlene M. (Pomeroy) Avery, of Brewer; and daughter, Cheryl A. Avery and her husband, Paul Downing, of Lutz, Fla. He is also remembered by a very close friend, Wayne Eldridge of Brewer. He was predeceased by his parents; grandparents; one sister, Phyliss Jeanne Avery; one half sister, Bonnie McAvoy; and one very precious granddaughter, Monica Marie Avery. A celebration of George’s life will be held in spring 2011 in Bangor, and he will be interned at Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor. Memorial gifts in George’s memory may be made to Monica Avery Endowment, care of Healthcare Charities, P.O. Box 931, Bangor, ME 04402-0931. Condolences may be expressed at www.davidcgross.com.