William  Avera

William Randolph Avera, 67, of Madison, GA, died Friday, October 29, 2021. Randy was born October 4, 1954 to Clara and William Avera in Augusta, GA. After graduating from George P. Butler High School in 1973, Randy earned his Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering in 1977 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. From 1977 to 1991, Randy worked for NASA as Lead Structures Engineer for Orbiter Structures, as well as principal accident investigator following the Challenger tragedy. Randy transitioned to the FAA in 1991 to begin his work in aircraft design certification, which he continued until his retirement in 2017. Until his passing, Randy continued to advocate for aviation safety as a Designated Engineering Representative for the FAA. Randy authored two books, The Truth About Challenger and Memories of Columbia, and served as a space shuttle analyst for CNN from 2003-2006. Randy's faith in Jesus Christ sustained him throughout his life, and the Good Hope congregations of Braswell Baptist and Bethel Baptist held special places in his heart. Randy is survived by his wife, Kelli Nabors Avera; his young daughter, Maggie Claire Avera; his sister, Patricia Glover; his aunt, Lou Wyatt; and many special nieces, nephews, and cousins. Services were held Sunday, November 7th at Bethel Baptist Church in Good Hope, GA.

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