Chris Avery: A Sturdy Golden Bear to the End

March 14, 2018
10,125

Last year saw a passing of the torch from the founding publisher of Bear Insider, Chris Avery, to new publisher Greg Richardson with the sale of the website in July 2017. And now more recently, Avery, known to countless thousands of Bear fans as GreyBear, went to meet the sturdy Golden Bear in the sky, passing away after a series of physical struggles in recent years. He passed away in the same hospital he was born in on March 25, 1942 in Berkeley's Alta Bates Hospital.

Raised in Berkeley, Chris went on to graduate from Berkeley High School in 1960 and did both his undergraduate and graduate studies at Cal, as had so many of his relatives before him, graduating with a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering. His parents, Constance Iola Hannah Avery and Leslie Hart Avery, also attended and met at Cal in the 30s and were married on January 13, 1940 in Berkeley.  And Avery's Great Aunt Claire Adelaide Healy Hartley graduated from the University of California in May 1909 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, before it became known as UC Berkeley.

Bear Insider
Avery strolls through Sproul Plaza in mid-60's as a student with lunch packed by wife Linda

Chris met his wife Linda (Larssen) in their freshman year at Cal at a campus ministry meeting, calling "dibs" on his future wife when pointing her out to a friend also in attendance. They were later married in 1965 in Woodland Hills, CA. Later came daughters Jennifer and Rachel as well as son-in-laws James and Brett and grandchildren, Cameron Avery, Everett and Colton.

Shortly after Rachel’s birth, Chris ventured off to India to launch his first of many enterprises and international adventures. A serial entrepreneur and early programmer, Chris was forever developing new and intriguing business ventures and escapades designed to both entertain and profit. 

Bear Insider
Chris and Linda Avery at wedding in 1965

Chris was a worldwide traveler, a musician, and deep lover of nature. He grew up visiting Mineral King, California, a precious gem of nature in the highest reaches of the Sierra Nevada, honoring the traditions begun by his great-grandfather Edwin Finley Hart, who took his daughter Elizabeth Rebecca Hart there as a girl. She was Chris’s paternal grandmother. In 1956, she purchased a cabin in the small mountain valley for her descendants. Chris carried on the family practice of bringing his own family to Mineral King every summer. It was one of his favorite places on Earth. 

As an adult, Chris continued to play cello and guitar, and spent many evenings playing folk songs around the campfire on his guitar with friends and family. He would periodically regale his family with tales of his nights playing gigs with two buddies in their band called “The McCloud River Trio.”

Chris built many quiet friendships and connections over his years. Across his explorations in wine and beer-making, traveling, studying politics, hiking in nature, running, cooking, and following sports (especially Cal sports), he connected with many kindred spirits, and had an impact on many lives.

In 2000, he and Linda purchased a property on the foothills of Mount Eddy near Mount Shasta, with the dream of creating a second Mineral King-like destination for their own extended family, much in the vein of his grandmother Elizabeth’s vision. 

Bear Insider
Chris and family at Sawtooth Pass

The genesis of Bear Insider was a Cal sports newsletter that saw many of the recipients join Cal's Fans Only website in the mid-90's. When the site went down for two weeks, Chris -at the time a web programer and website builder- decided to take the opportunity to start a website of his own where Cal fans could gather and share their passion for their Golden Bears, and Cyberbears.org was born on September 3, 1998.

The site thrived and saw continual growth in those early years, eventually moving to the Scout.com network for five years, where the site was rebranded as Bear Insider, then to the ESPN network in 2008. Eventually the site went back to being independent and is currently a part of a publishing group of dozens of Power 5 program websites throughout the country..

The legacy that Chris left with countless Cal fans though the Bear Insider community is profound. Over the past 20 years, the site has been the Cal cyber version of Cheers, where everyone knows your name. 

People have come and gone from the site over the years, yet many remain as big a part as ever of the great community that our very own GreyBear built with his vision and passion for his Cal Bears.

His legacy will never be forgotten.

A sturdy Golden Bear he will forever be.

Bear Insider

Discussion from...

Chris Avery: A Sturdy Golden Bear to the End

concordtom
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Salute.
Bow.
Honor.
Gratitude.
concordtom
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Fellas, don't miss the opportunity to post your respect here.
You gotta realize, we don't get this site if it's not for Chris!
Thanks.
Big C
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This is also on the football board, where there are currently 36 replies, all loaded with respect.
bluesaxe
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Ah hell, I just saw this. I never knew him personally but always enjoyed his takes back in the good old days of CyberBears. RIP Greybear. And thanks.
RonO
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A great guy I met a handful of times. I always liked, how in earlier days, this site was more about community.
concordtom
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Thanks again, Chris!
helltopay1
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I called Chris on the phone about 30 years ago. We had never met. He was fishing in mid-stream somewhere in the mountains when he got my call. he said, " excuse me while I leave the stream to go on land so I can talk on the cell-phone. That's my only personal story. obviously, a great guy and a sturdy golden bear. We need about 10,000 more like him.
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