Annie Marie Avey, 94, of San Marcos — described by family members as astute and audacious yet loving and given to laughter — died on Monday, April 7. Avey was born on July 1, 1919 in San Marcos.
Known popularly by her nickname “Bee,” Avey was the last surviving member of San Marcos High School’s Class of 1936 as well as the last surviving charter member of the Wimberley Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1957.
She married her high school sweetheart, Roy Avey, on February 10, 1940. During World War II, the couple lived in Los Angeles where Roy Avey worked at the Douglas Aircraft Co. and Bee Avey made bandages for the American Red Cross.
In 1945, the Aveys returned to San Marcos where they started what is now known as Avey Plastics with Bee’s sister, Ruth, and Roy’s twin brother, Ray. In 1949, the Aveys hosted a meeting at the Corral Outdoor Theater in Wimberley, which they owned, that led to founding of the church now called Wimberley Chapel in the Hills Fellowship.
The Aveys traveled extensively and Bee brought home a magnet from every place they visited; eventually, there was no space on the refrigerator.
When Roy earned a pilot’s license, Bee wanted one, too, and got it. She was known to pilot a leg or two of their flights around Texas in a yellow-and-brown Stinson airplane. During road trips that carried the Aveys to all 50 states, Bee served as navigator for Roy in their motorhome, which she kept adorned with teddy bears and seasonal decorations. Despite her journeys at home and abroad, Avey’s favorite place remained the Blanco River in their backyard, which she floated in an inner tub with a glass of iced tea and one of their dogs — Lady, then Prettsie and, later, Yeller.
Avey was active in the Daughters of the Nile fraternal organization, sung in the church choir and the Wimberley Community Chorus and was always game for cards or dominoes. Hand & Foot and 42 were her favorites. On the rare occasions when she took a break from social activities, she would flip channels between old episodes of “The Lawrence Welk Show” and “I Love Lucy.” More recently, she enjoyed “Dancing With The Stars.”
She also loved shopping at stores as diverse as Korets, Chico’s and Cracker Barrel‘s Old Country Store. A family holiday tradition was an all-girl shopping trip on the San Antonio River Walk, where she frequented Joske’s and Frost Bros.
When she moved to The Wellington later in life, Avey participated in every social event on the calendar and joined a morning walking group that called themselves the “Walkie Talkies.”
Avey is survived by her sister, Nell Gilless of San Marcos, and a host of nieces and nephews; great-nieces and nephews; great-great-nieces and nephews; and even a few great-great-great nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind countless friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Etta Holtermann; her husband, Roy Avey; and three sisters and two brothers.
Visitation will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 11 at Thomason Funeral Home, 2001 Old Ranch Road 12 in San Marcos. She will be buried at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the San Marcos Cemetery followed by a 2 p.m. memorial service at Chapel in the Hills, 14601 Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley.
Memorial donations can be made to the the music fund at Chapel in the Hills. Donations should be marked “Bee Avey Music Fund” and mailed to P.O. Box 1808, Wimberley, TX 78676.