It is with profound sorrow that we announce the tragic passing of Donald Jay Avery Jr., a beloved native son of San Luis Obispo County, who was taken from us too soon in a car accident involving a drunk driver on May 15, 2024. Born on December 31, 1971, Donnie’s life was filled with love, achievement, and dedication to both family and community.

Donnie is survived by his children, Donald Jay Avery III and Ella Avery; his sisters, Tess Avery and Lila Avery-Fuson; and his nieces and nephews, Amber Fragione, Mariah Avery, Luke Torrey, Abigail Avery, Bailey Torrey, and Bella Torrey. He also leaves behind a great-nephew, Asher Avery. 

Donnie was the cherished son of the late Donald and Karen Tullock Avery-Lewis (may they rest in peace). He was the proud grandson of Robert and Margaret Tullock, former owners of the Templeton Blacksmith shop, and Dutch and Ann Avery, who had strong ties to Camp Roberts Military Base, including Avery Reservoir, Avery Road, and the Camp Roberts Historical Museum. As a pioneering family since 1887, the Averys have deep roots in San Luis Obispo County.

Known for his exceptional talent with computers from a young age, Donnie earned a master’s degree in computer science. His expertise led him to an esteemed career as a project engineer in senior management at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, where he worked for many years.

Despite his professional successes, Donnie’s heart remained in the central coast. He returned home to co-establish a hunting guide business with his brother-in-law, Kevin Fuson. The duo led many memorable hunting excursions and formed enduring friendships, particularly within the law enforcement community. Donnie’s unwavering optimism and radiant smile left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

Above all, Donnie treasured his family. He was deeply devoted to them and loved celebrating life’s moments together. An avid outdoorsman, Donnie found joy in fishing, hiking, surfing, kayaking, and exploring the beauty of nature. He also had a profound love for animals and enjoyed immersing himself in literature, especially on topics of science, religion, and spirituality.

Donnie’s memory will live on in our hearts forever. His spirit, warmth, and the immense joy he brought will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Rest in peace, Donnie.