Norman “Norm” Eldon Avery of Denver, Colorado died at University of Colorado Medical Center on June 3, 2021 at the age of 81. Norman was born in 1940 in McPherson, Kansas the son of Everett and Lenora Avery. He was raised in Larned, Kansas where he was a graduate of the class of 1958.
He attended Emporia Kansas State College where, in 1963, he graduated with a degree in Communications. In college, Norm was an audio-visual instructor. After college he briefly returned to Larned where he was a news director for the local radio station. During that time, he met Eleanor Curry and they were married for almost 57 years.
During his early childhood, Norman contracted encephalitis from a complication from having scarlet fever which damaged nerves and in turn caused the loss of the use of his legs. Throughout his teen years, he was in a body cast for nine months to improve scoliosis in his back. At that time, through reading, Norman began acquiring his intense knowledge of space. That interest led him to career positions with Estes Industries (Model Rockets) and the Solar Energy Research Institute.
Norman served as the Manager of Communications /Marketing for Projects for Denver’s Stapleton International Airport. His expertise was called upon in the design and construction of the new Denver International Airport (DIA). Norman’s most significant contribution during his tenure with Denver/DIA was in the design of the handicap facilities which merited DIA worldwide acclaim.
When DIA opened in 1995, Norman continued in the public relations and consultation capacities. After the successful opening of Denver International Airport, his expertise was requested internationally. He wrote articles for the Frontier Airlines Magazine, Air and Space Magazine, and wrote and published a book, Time Out for Tomorrow.
Before his death, Norman was writing another book and is quoted to have said that he “hoped that he wouldn’t pass with his best work still in his head”.
From his presentations, Norm received the National Aerospace Education Association Award, the Award for Aerospace Education Leadership, the VFW Outstanding Citizenship Award, and included in United Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals. For 25 years, he was a member in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and was inducted into Who’s Who in American Aviation. One of the biggest honors awarded to Norman was in 1995, when he was elected into the prestigious Colorado Aviation Historical Society Hall of Fame.
After retiring from Denver International Airport, Norman established Futurgram Network, a public relations consulting firm serving small airports throughout the nation.
Norman never let his leg braces, crutches, and later a wheelchair, be a handicap. He was an inspiration to all who were in contact with him and also to the over one-quarter million students to whom he gave multi-media presentations about space.
For many years, Norman and Eleanor both have been active members of Denver’s Holly Hills Bible Church.
He is survived by his wife, Eleanor and sister, Bonnie Avery Milano, their families, and many friends.
Visitation will be on June 30 at Knodel Funeral Home, St. Francis, Kansas with family present from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Graveside service will be on July 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Lawn Ridge Cemetery, St. Francis, Kansas.
Memorial service will be held on July 31 at 10:00 a.m. at
Holly Hills Bible Church, 2400 South Holly Street, Denver, CO 80222.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:
Wounded Warriors Project woundedwarriorsproject.org
Go to the Donate page and fill in the memorial area for Norman Avery.
Norman always felt great compassion for our wounded warriors.
University of Colorado Hospital Foundation uchospitalfoundation.org/donate or send a check to
12605 East 16th Avenue F784, Aurora, CO 80045
Place Norman Avery on check memo line payable to University of Colorado Hospital Foundation.
The family designated the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation in appreciation for the exceptional care Norman received from his team of doctors while at the University of Colorado Hospital. Funds received ensure its continued excellence in patient care, education for health care professionals, and research. Norman’s funds will be directed to geriatric research.
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