Gary Avadanian Profile Photo

Gary Avadanian

January 27, 1945 — April 23, 2024


Gary Avadanian

The talented musician and artist Gary Avadanian passed away peacefully from natural causes on April 23, 2024, during a brave battle with cancer. He is survived by his loving sister Bette Eldredge; his significant other Nan King Parker; wonderful cousins, including John A. Kachichian; godson John P. Kachichian; Sandra Starck and her husband, Phil; Karen Papa and her husband, Fred; Vanessa Barss and her husband, David Townzen; Harry Davagian; and Gregory and Jan Davagian; and many second and third cousins. He also leaves behind numerous dear friends. He was preceded in death by Bette’s husband, Walter (Ted) Earl Eldredge Jr.; his parents, Charles and Eva Avadanian; and John A. Kachichian’s wife, Kathy.

 Gary was a fun-loving, charismatic person who always marched to the beat of his own drum. He was born at the Norman Air Force Base in Norman, Oklahoma, on January 27, 1945. A few years later, the family moved to Stoneham.

 Gary was very creative and grew up in a musically talented family. He studied music at Boston University’s School of Music with a focus on woodwind, specializing in saxophone and clarinet. He dabbled in high school education for four hours, which was long enough to make him realize a career as a high school teacher was not for him. Instead, for more than twenty years, he organized and played in numerous touring bands. He was in high demand as a studio musician, making many wonderful friends and professional connections over the years. He also worked as a musician’s agent for the last few decades and booked hundreds of bands all over New England.

 While in his teens he began fishing. He soon developed a passion for carving extraordinarily lifelike duck decoys, and later this became a side career. He specialized in Massachusetts coast oversized decoys and quickly gained recognition for the outstanding quality of his work. He was also an avid hunter and made numerous close friendships within the hunting community. For many years, he loved to relax on his boat in Newburyport, where he is still the local recordholder for the largest bluefish ever caught there. Another favorite pastime was taxidermy.

 An appreciator of vintage items, Gary rented space at the Brimfield Antique Flea Market for over 30 years and had a spot there right up until Memorial Day last year. His family fondly remembers his love of vintage items and his refusal to engage with modern timesaving devices. Almost all his decoy carving was carried out by hand and with a very limited use of power tools. Gary was always a holdout for declining to use any kind of computer. He became the talk of the family when, in 2022, he graduated from a rotary phone to a flip phone. He loved The Honeymooners and old westerns, which he watched every night on, naturally, VHS.

 Church services will be held on Friday, May 10 from 11 am to 12 pm at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston, 145 Brattle Street in Cambridge. Immediately following the service, a celebration of Gary’s life and many accomplishments will take place in Johnson Hall next to the church. Guests are encouraged to share their funny stories about Gary. There are many tales to be told!

 Everyone is invited to the Mount Auburn Cemetery for a final farewell to Gary. Sara Davagian, Gary’s first cousin once removed, will delight guests by playing Somewhere Over the Rainbow in memory of Gary on his beloved saxophone. It will be a beautiful moment and a fitting farewell to our delightful, smart, talented, kind Gary.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Gary's name to the Holy Trinity Armenian Church, 145 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Avadanian, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Holy Trinity Armenian Church

145 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

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