Gary Gavenus

Gary was born and raised in Kingston, PA, a coal-mining valley town in the mountains of the northeastern part of the state. The oldest of four sons born to Edward and Ruth Gavenus, his parents instilled in him the virtues of honesty, hard work, and a strong faith in God, which have guided him throughout his life in all his undertakings. In his youth, he was an accomplished wrestler and also played what he describes as “unorganized” baseball and football.

Attending college just a few hours from home, Gavenus graduated Cum Laude from Dickinson College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Majors in Economics and Philosophy. For his graduate work, he attended Wake Forest University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate.

His enjoyment of the mountains of his youth and the mountains he visited while in Law School brought him to the mountains of North Carolina where he has resided for the last 28 years.

In those 28 years he has lived in Watauga, Avery, and Yancey Counties and has both prosecuted and represented clients from all five counties that comprise the 24th District.
In his spare time he is an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoys farming, gardening with his daughter, grilling out and following sports with his sons. Other favorite family pastimes include the annual family fishing trip, camping, hiking and attending family oriented music festivals (MerleFest in particular).
He has served as a Little League Coach and Board Member, started a Cub Scout Pack and has been a Cub Master, a Boy Scout Volunteer, a Charter Member and Past President of a Rotary Club. He is a current member of the Community Child Protection TeamChild Fatality Prevention TeamCriminal Justice Partnership, and the 24th District Steering Committee Juvenile Justice Treatment Continuum.

About His Family

Gary and his family are members of the First Presbyterian Church of Burnsville. He serves as the adult mentor for the church’s Kid Store missions program, operated by the church youth to supply goods to the Reconciliation House Food Pantry and money for their fuel fund. His middle child, Noah, serves as the chairperson for the Kid's Store and oversees the operation of the store, along with the other youth, each Sunday.  

He is married to Suzanne Biggs Gavenus, a Clinical School Social Worker at Burnsville Elementary and Yancey County Learning Academy, and former guidance counselor at Mountain Heritage High School. Prior to entering the public school phase of her career, she worked in community mental health as a therapist and at Appalachian State University as an Academic Coordinator and Lecturer in the Social Work Department. She is a board member for the Yancey County Juvenile Crime Prevention Committee and the Parkway PlayhouseIn fact, the whole family has been active in volunteering with the Parkway Playhouse since moving to Burnsville. 

He has three children: Garrett, age 19, is a 2010 graduate of Mountain Heritage High School. Garrett was a leader in the JROTC program his senior year, and enlisted in the Army.  Noah age 14, is an eighth grader active in drama, music,soccer, wrestling and track.  Gillian, age 9, is a third grader at who takes piano and gymnastic lessons, plays soccer, and sings in the First Presbyterian Children's Choir.

Website Paid for by The Committee to Elect Gary Gavenus