Chisolm McAvoy, CCAS AA ’55, GSEHD BS ’56, passed away at the age of 81 on Sept. 25. McAvoy was an intellectual, adventurer, El Toro sailor, Wednesday Group bicycler, Washington Canoe Club kayaker and loyal DC sports fan with a love of people from all walks of life whom he met while driving his Yellow Cab.
A resident of Washington DC for 70 years, McAvoy was born in New York City in 1932. He was the son of New York City mayoral candidate, Clifford T. McAvoy, and WGMS “Capitol Shopping Time” host, Frances Boardman Chisolm Land. After attending Woodrow Wilson HS, Hebron Academy and Wesleyan University, he graduated in the Class of 1956 from GW. He later survived a plane crash in the South China Sea while traveling around the world.
McAvoy’s nephew Peter said, “Always quick with a smile, always kind and gentle, his sense of exploration, and fun are lifelong lessons that I will never forget. “Uncle Chis” could light up any day and any activity and turn it into an ‘adventure’, whether days on a sailboat, hiking remote parts of Little Cranberry or Bakers Island, a climb up Sargent Mountain, or early mornings as ‘stern men’ on local lobster boats. In his late 60’s, we double-trapezed on a 14 foot sailing dinghy while setting an asymmetric spinnaker. In his 70’s he wanted to sail the 18HT catamaran and with both of us on the wire, pitch-poled.”
McAvoy is survived by his sister, the Rev. Mary B. Johnstone and brother-in-law Robert L. Johnstone, III of Newport RI, and three nephews: Stuart, Drake and Peter Johnstone, thre great-nephews, Nick, Hunter & Ford Johnstone and a great-niece, India Johnstone.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, October 4th at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 44 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22204.