William H. Avery Sr. 1911 - 2009 Wakefield
Funeral services for William H. Avery Sr., 98, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Wakefield, with the Rev. Diana Stewart officiating.
Mr. Avery died Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009, in Wakefield.
He was born Aug. 11, 1911, in Clay County, the son of Herman and Hattie Coffman Avery.
Mr. Avery was born and reared in Wakefield. He attended Kansas University, where as a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, he served as president of the Inter-Fraternity Council. Following his graduation in 1934, he returned to Wakefield to assist with the family farming and livestock operation, and during this period, he entered politics as a member of the local school board.
He served two terms as a state representative in Topeka, and in 1955, voters of the Second District elected him to the U.S. Congress, where he served for five terms through 1965. At the time of his death, he was the eldest surviving former member of Congress.
He was elected the 37th governor of Kansas in 1964 and sworn in Jan. 11, 1965.
Mr. Avery returned to Washington, D.C., serving at the Department of the Interior from 1974 until 1977, at which time he and his wife built their family home in Wakefield. He served as vice president and chairman of the board for the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. He was also active in the Masonic Lodge, Farm Bureau and Lions Club.
He married Hazel Bowles. She died in 2004.
Survivors include two sons, William H. Jr., Indianapolis, and Brad, Topeka; two daughters, Barbara Avery, New Orleans, and Sue Avery, Winchester, Mass.; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
The family will meet friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Wakefield United Methodist Church.
The family suggests memorials to the church or Arthritis Foundation, sent in care of Neill-Schwensen-Rook Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be sent at nsrfh.com.