Avery Thomas Sharp
October 5, 1942 - July 25, 2019
Dr. Avery Thomas Sharp passed away Thursday, July 25, 2019. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 30, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, with burial at Oakwood Cemetery.
Dr. Avery Thomas Sharp was born October 5, 1942, in Kingsville, Texas, to Horace and Lillian Terrell Sharp. After the family moved to Sweeny, Texas, Avery attended Sweeny Public Schools. He learned to love music and participated in choir and music lessons. He sang solos in churches and performed often in local music activities.
He attended Southwest Texas State University on a choir scholarship, and he loved performing with the university choir and directing choirs in Calvary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in San Marcos. In 1963, Avery married Patricia Tipton Sharp and the two pursued degrees together. After graduation from SWT, he attended Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York City while he taught music education in Lindenhurst Public Schools on Long Island. His musical interests continued with a move from New York in 1970 to attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City for a Ph.D. in Choral and Vocal Music. In addition, he received a second Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Iowa. He worked as the Assistant Director of the Music Library at the university. He also directed choirs in churches in Tipton, Iowa, and Washington, Iowa. In 1979, the Drs. Sharp moved to Waco for Pat to teach at Baylor in the School of Education, and Avery worked at the Waco-McLennan County Library for two years. He directed the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. In 1981, Avery began as the Music Librarian in Moody Library at Baylor University. He later served Baylor University as Assistant Director of Moody Library, then Dean of the University Libraries, and finally Reference Librarian of the Armstrong Browning Library. Dr. Sharp was active in numerous professional associations, in both library and music. He also published books that bridged his music and library science interests, many in collaboration with Dr. James Floyd. Avery and Pat adopted four children from three countries, beginning in 1973 with a four year old daughter from Korea, Hilary Rachel Sharp, married to Dr. Christopher Grant, Waco. The Grants have two sons, Patrick who attends law school in Houston and Will who attends Harvard University. A second beloved three year old daughter from Korea, Tiffany Heather Sharp, died at age 13, a devastating loss to the family. Robb Taylor Sharp at six years old came from Romania in 1991 to be adopted; he is married to Elizabeth Stanley Sharp and lives in Dallas. Hayley Dilyana Sharp was five years old in 1992 when she arrived from Bulgaria; she lives in Waco. The Sharps love their wonderful family, calling it the "Little United Nations".
Avery was preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Lillian Sharp; and his daughter, Tiffany Sharp.
Avery is survived by his brother, H.R. Sharp, Jr. and wife, Beverly Roesler Sharp of Olton, Texas, and their four children, Michael Sharp and wife, Roberta Sharp, Kerri Sharp Mahan and husband, Joe Mahan, Cheri Sharp Kemp and husband, Josh Kemp, and Sarah Sharp. He is also survived by Lee Tipton Scott of Houston, Gerri Tipton Snider and husband, Larry Snider, of Conroe, Joyce Follis Tipton of Victoria, and Sue Knowles Tipton of Victoria; and many nieces and nephews whom he loved and enjoyed teasing.
Dr. Pat Sharp and her family wish to express their appreciation to Lucy's Loving Home Care and David and Estera Gog and their children for providing a caring family relationship for Avery in their home for this past year.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Tiffany Heather Sharp Memorial Scholarship Fund online at www.baylor.edu/give or mailed to Baylor University Gift Processing, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798-7050.