In Loving Memory of

Hugh Brackett Avant, DDS

11/22/1943 - 11/03/2013

Hugh Brackett Avant DDS, 69, long-time resident of New Smyrna Beach, FL, passed away on November 3, 2013 at the Florida-Georgia game while watching his beloved Gators play with lifelong friend, Mike Floyd of Gainesville Florida.One of 4 children, he was born in Rutherfordton, NC to William and Daisy Avant. He was lucky enough to marry his high school sweetheart, LaVelle McCulloch Avant. A Vietnam veteran who served as a Lieutenant in the US Navy, he graduated from North Carolina State University and Dental School at UNC at Chapel Hill. He practiced general dentistry in Gainesville, Florida for more than 30 years. After he retired, he served as an expert witness for the Florida Board of Dentistry and also became a certified mediator for the Volusia County court system.  He was an avid golfer, tennis player, scuba diver, skier, and cyclist. He loved to travel with his wife, his family, and his friends.  Hugh was well loved for his sense of humor, loyalty, and his strong embrace of life.  He was a long-time member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Gainesville, FL, and Coronado Methodist Church, New Smyrna Beach, FL.

Dr Avant was predeceased by his parents, his siblings Alice, Bill, and Harry, his daughter, Alicia Avant Erwin of Boiling Springs, SC, and the love of his life, his wife of more than 44 years, LaVelle Avant. He is survived by his daughter, Dr Sondra Avant, and his three grandchildren, Ashley Erwin, Marina Avant-deLaroche, and Grant Avant-deLaroche. He will be missed dearly by his sons-in-law, Steven deLaroche and Nelson Erwin, and his companion, Denise Fountain, and her daughter, Saxon Sobaleski.

Hugh Avant was larger than life and did things his way. He was easy to love and has left a great void.

In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Lupus Foundation ( or the National Breast Cancer Foundation (

A graveside service will be held at Sea Pines Cemetery in Edgewater, Florida on Firday, November 22, 2013 at 3:00pm and a Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 starting at 10:00am at the Gainesville Golf and Country Club.

Online Condolences

10 Responses

  1. Kathleen D'Ambra at · Reply

    Sondra, Steve and family,
    So sorry to hear about your dad. May he rest in peace . My prayers are with you and him. May you have God’s Blessings during this difficult time.
    Love Kathy

  2. Randy Kinzey/Blackbeards at · Reply

    For years we have shared many golf games and friendship. I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of a great friend.


  3. Diana & Lee Allen at · Reply

    Sondra & Steve,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Hugh was a special person whose smile and zest for life made everyone around him happier. Both of us are fortunate that we were able to share a small part of his life–we will always remember him and treasure those memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Diana & Lee Allen
    Clearwater, Florida

  4. David Brackett at · Reply

    Sondra & Steve

    Sorry for your loss. Hugh and your mom were special people who my Dad & Mom, Lad & Elsie Brackett, thought the world of. Hugh worked on Dad’s teeth no charge and were gracious hosts at their home in Gainsville. He will be remembered.

  5. Bill Smart at · Reply

    I share your grief over the loss of Hugh. What a guy! We were classmates at Cool Springs, but I had lost track of him until the last class reunion. His infectious smile and keen sense of humor, as well as his career path, remain vividly in my memory of our last time together.

    In reading his obituary, I learned for the first time that his middle name was Brackett–a name that is common in my family roots in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties. I was completely surprised when I discovered the name of his mother and father in my genealogy database. I learned far too late that Hugh was my third cousin once removed. I wish we had know that earlier.

    My sympathy to all who join me in his passing! Bill

  6. christine Leigh at · Reply

    Dear Sondra and Family,
    I am so saddened by the loss of your Dad. I am especially sad for your loss.
    Even though I have not seen Dr. Avant or Lavelle for many years. She always kept me informed during our Christmas Card exchange
    . My memories of working with Dr. Avant in Gainesville are vivid. We had a great staff and great “parties” during birthday’s and Christmas. I remember moving from his first office to the Large Office building in the mid 70’s. What an undertaking. He was very proud of the new office. It was so beautiful…Sometimes I would have to look for him to check a patient as he would be downstairs watering the flowers around the building.
    I will be at the Celebration Memorial for the tribute of such a wonderful man.

  7. Barbara Travis at · Reply

    I worked with your mom at Cormeth what a wonderful family. My prayers are with you

  8. Katie Wilkie Simmons at · Reply

    I simply wanted to reach out to the family of Hugh Avant to express my condolences. My brother Fred Wilkie was a classmate of Hugh and his brother Harry was a year ahead of me in high school. As a small child I marveled at how beautiful LaVelle was in high school. One of my classmates married Harry – Christine Daves Avant. If the family knows of a way to get in touch with her – please let her know that I am reaching out. I would really enjoy reconnecting with her. Please give her my email address. You and family will be in my prayers. Just hold close to your hearts the many wonderful memories and carry Hugh’s spirit on in your hearts. Praying God’s grace to hug you with His love.

  9. Faye Powell at · Reply

    Sondra and Family,
    Your father’s passing was so unexpected and very sad for us. We are so sorry for your loss. We think back to all the good times we shared with you, Alicia, your Mom and Dad. From high school to the present, your family has always been friends that we admired and loved. We will always cherish those memories. We hope the knowledge that both of your parents lived life to the fullest and cared so much for you and others will get you through this difficult time. We are always here for you and your family.
    Love, Ron and Faye Powell

  10. Amy Bryce Hoflund at · Reply

    Dear Sondra,

    I was so sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing. He was a wonderful man, and my family and I have many fond memories of him. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time.


Leave a Reply

Please feel free to sign the Guest Register and forward your condolences to friends and family members who have suffered a loss. Please enter your words of remembrance in the space provided. You may choose to leave your message online or click the link below to send a private message to the family. Please note that Forest Meadows Funeral Home will review all messages before they are published on the world-wide web or forwarded to family members. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. Thank-you.

To protect your privacy, Forest Meadows Funeral Home will not share your eMail address on the web. We offer you the option of providing it to us solely as a way to contact you. We do not share your eMail with third parties without your express written consent.

    Send a Private Condolence

    Your Name (required):

    Your Email (required)

    Your City

    Your State


    Your Message

    Send this condolence message to