Gabriel Andrew Avram passed away Monday, August 24, 2015. He was born in Bucharest, Romania to David Andrew Avram and Hertha Niehaus. His father was an international lawyer with offices in Germany, Switzerland and Romania, where he lived and served as Chief Counsel to the King. During his early childhood, he lived in Romania, Germany, Switzerland and Cuba. During the war, his father established his law practice in Manhattan, New York. Garry graduated from high school at Trinity School in 1950. He then graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, PA in 1954. After serving two years in the Army, he graduated from Cornell Law School in 1959.
In 1955 before he left to serve in the Army, he married Patricia Finger from North Carolina. Pat and Garry met while they were both working summer jobs in Lake Placid, New York.
After law school, he spent several years in the legal department at General Foods in White Plains, New York. He then accepted a job in the legal department at R.J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem. Much of his work in the legal department involved intellectual property (patents and copyrights). When Reynolds diversified its businesses, Garry moved out of the legal department and became president of the R.J. Reynolds Food Company and Corporate Secretary of the company. In 1980, Garry left Reynolds to become president of Mayberry Corporation. He was instrumental in the successful turnaround of that company.
In the mid 80s, Garry went into private practice as a partner with Finger, Parker, Avram, and Roemer. During his time in private practice, Garry also served as the Executive Director of the Specialty Tobacco Counsel and in that role participated in the historic tobacco litigation settlement process. After retiring, he continued serving on the national panel of commercial arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
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Garry was an extremely accomplished athlete. He played college and minor league baseball. He was an avid racket sports player, including squash, tennis, and he even played a mean game of ping pong. Garry and his son Andrew were the state father-son tennis champions one year, with his #1 fan Claus the dachshund looking on along with wife Pat. He was also a lifelong golfer and played many father-son events with son Randy in Pinehurst. Through work and pleasure, Pat and Garry traveled all over the world. He also loved hiking in the North Carolina mountains, especially with his grandchildren, and biking the Virginia Creeper Trail.
He had been a member of several organizations such as the New York/North Carolina State Bar and Bar Associations, Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem Tennis Association, Hospice of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Forsyth Hospital Authority, Old Town Club, New York Athletic Club, N.C. Nutrition Advisory Committee, N.C. Governor's Language Institute Advisory Board, Westchester N.Y. and Forsyth Young Republicans clubs, he had served as president of both. He was also a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Ossining, NY and St. Paul's in Winston-Salem, and the Stratford Rotary Club. He was president of the Yonahlossee Club. For many years he volunteered in the Ronald McDonald family room at Baptist and Forsyth hospitals.
Surviving him are his wife Pat; two sons Randy and Andrew and their wives Amy and Tammy; and five grandchildren, David, Andrew, Banks, Ally, and Gabe. He was predeceased by one grandson, Tucker Leighton Avram.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, August 28 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with a reception to follow at Old Town Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Ronald McDonald House and St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.