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Founder of 80-Store James Avery Artisan Jewelry Has Died

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He was 96.

KERRVILLE, TX — James Avery Artisan Jewelry announced that its founder, James Avery, died on April 30 at age 96.INSTORE JamesAvery

The 64-year success of James Avery Artisan Jewelry is “a testament to his early leadership,” according to a press release from the company.

What began as a one-man endeavor in a garage grew into a firm with over 3,500 employees. The company operates 80 stores in five states: Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Its jewelry is also available in over 200 Dillard’s stores in 28 states and nationwide through JamesAvery.com.

“The inspiring life of James Avery will live on forever in the hearts of his family, friends, Customers and Associates,” the company stated. “James Avery was a dynamic, creative and generous man who touched the lives of many people during his lifetime through his work, his art and his giving spirit.”

Avery was born in 1921 in Milwaukee, WI. He served in the U.S. Air Corps and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. Avery completed pilot training and commanded a B-26 bomber, surviving 44 missions over Germany. After World War II, he attended the University of Illinois and received a B.F.A. in industrial design. He pursued college-level teaching, and while at the University of Colorado, he explored jewelry-making techniques.

He spent the summer of 1954 in Kerrville along with his wife visiting his in-laws. He once remarked, “It was during this time that I decided to go into business. I worked alone for three years. Ideas, plenty of hard work and prayers (not necessarily in that order) were the rule of each day.”

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In 1957 he hired his first employee and began a legacy of craftsmanship that would gain national recognition under his leadership.

Avery retired in 2007 turning the reins over to two of his sons, Chris and Paul.

More information about Avery is available at https://www.jamesavery.com/pages/about-us. Customers, friends and associates can send a remembrance to [email protected].

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