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In Memory of Barbara Avery
Barbara Avery
Born: February 21, 1918
Died: August 2, 2011
Age: 93
Barbara Avery
February 21, 1918 - August 2, 2011
Barbara Avery, passed away on August 2, 2011 at Northshire Residence in Spencer, Iowa. She was the daughter of A.H. and Grace D. Avery. She was born in their home in Spencer on February 21, 1918. Her public education was in the Spencer Schools, graduating in 1935. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of Iowa in political science and had 58 postgraduate hours in social studies from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Mankato State and George Washington University. She taught in Scranton, Williamsburg and Mt. Auburn prior to beginning a legendary thirty-four year teaching career in Spencer, first at the junior high and then at both the old high school and the current high school. Almost everyone who graduated from S.H.S. during her career had Barbara for a teacher and few forgot her. She made an indelible mark on the serious students by launching them into a lifetime of interest and further study in government, current events, politics, and history. While teaching in Spencer she served as president of the following organizations: Iowa Council of Social Studies, Iowa Association of Classroom Teachers, Spencer Education Association, Y.W.C.A. and Clay County Red Cross. She also was a member of the Old Capitol Restoration Committee. Teaching was her committed work. Politics was her passion. She served as Clay County Republican Party Co-chair from 1954 until her death. She received the John McDonald Award from the State Republican Central Committee for outstanding volunteer work within the G.O.P. She served as a voting delegate at numerous state conventions and participated in National Republican Conventions. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma social sorority, a 70 year Chapter KF member of P.E.O., and belonged to the Congregational Church. She was preceded in death by her brother, Alden Avery and her sister Margaret Dunning and a half sister, Theta Cornwall Tucker. She is survived by her nieces Janet Haraldson (Ron) from Rembrandt, IA and Susan Lewis (Bob) from Scottsdale, AZ; and her nephews Stephen Avery (Molly) from Spirit Lake, IA and Gan Avery (Pat) from Tucson, AZ; plus grand nieces and nephews.

At her request there will be no memorial service. Her body has been donated to the University of Iowa Medical Department for research. Memorial contributions could be made to the Spencer High School Foundation.

Saturday, November 26, 2011
To the family of Miss Avery: She was my government teacher in High school in Spencer-class of 1965 and a cool lady!!My sincere condolences to her family.
Dave Kanis
Monday, August 15, 2011
barb was my history teacher in junior high. sent me to mr. felt's office for swats on a few occassions. may God bless her and keep her. she was an eagle.
Gene De Koster
Sunday, August 14, 2011
So sorry to hear about Barbara's passing. I remember her from history classes I had at SHS in the mid 60s.
Gene Chittenden
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I just now heard of Miss Avery's death. She is the one who inspired me to become politically involved. She was a very special teacher. I am sorry for your loss.
Jean A. Sprague Bolton
Monday, August 08, 2011
The news of Miss Avery's passing has reached me in Canada, and along with the sadness, brings back memories of sitting in her history class wondering why we had to learn 'that stuff'. Well, it seems 'that stuff' stayed with me, nurtured a love for American history, traveled with me to dozens of historical sites around our beloved country, and helped instill in me a sense of citizenship and political involvement. When in training to become a teacher myself, I would often reflect back on my own teachers in Spencer - remembering those that made positive and lasting impressions on me. Miss Avery was one of those teachers. She was able to teach me even when I resisted learning. I am grateful that I was able to visit her a few years ago, tell her how she had influenced me, and how much I had grown to appreciate what she had given to all her students. Reading the tale of her life, I see hers was a life of service, commitment, and dedication not just to her students, but to her political party and to her community. Her passing has sparked several conversations among former students, and the common thread throughout those conversations has been, 'I remember Miss Avery ...'
Jeannette Hughes Meyer, SHS Class of 1963
Jeannette Hughes Meyer
Sunday, August 07, 2011
I wish to express my kind sympathy to Miss Avery's family. She will always be Miss Avery to me, and I was inspired by her to become a Social Studies teacher after my 3 children were in school. I taught for 30 years in my local Junior High School in Tulare, CA. The last time I saw her, my sisters, Karilyn Hughes and Jeannette Hughes were in the area and stopped to see her. We had a nice visit, and were admonished to 'Vote Republican' in the upcoming election. Best Wishes.
Gerry Hughes Anderson
Friday, August 05, 2011
My deepest sympathy to Ms. Avery's family. This California boy remembers Ms. Avery's government class well. She had a deep passion for teaching, I quess it worked, because I never forgot what I learned in her classroom. Rest in peace with God.
Jeb Bjerke
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Miss Avery was truly a remarkable teacher, and one I will never forget. Despite the fact that my father and grandfather were equally committed Democrats, their political differences never got in the way of mutual respect for each other. Her lessons on how government works still stick with me today, and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity be one of her students - Lori Hoberg Adams, Spencer High School Class of 1974
Lori Hoberg Adams
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Miss Avery was my teacher at SHS and I will always remember her classes. She taught us a lot!
Alvina Steffens Bailey
Thursday, August 04, 2011
I was foreign exchange student at Spencer High School in the year 1967-68. Barbara Avery was my teacher in Government. She taught it in a wonderful way and until today I owe a lot of my understanding of America to her. She was a great lady. I will always keep her in a very respectful memory. My condolence to her family.
Florian Sauter-Servaes
Thursday, August 04, 2011
Sad news to hear. Miss Avery was such an institution at Spencer High School...one of my most memorable teachers. I still remember things that I specifically learned in her class. I ultimately became a teacher and appreciated her more and more then! I graduated with the class of 63.
Lynne All Schweitzer
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Barb will be missed by many. She was truly one of a kind, and a wonderful person. She was a respected teacher who made you see the world differently. I'm glad I knew her. I was honored that she attended my graduation party from SHS. Oh the discussions and debates she and dad will now have again!!!
Katie Rohling
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
As an SHS graduate, the news of Miss Avery's death has come through connections with my classmates, all of whom are recognizing her mark as our teacher. For her life and work, her passion and influence, her teaching and our learning, may we give God thanks and praise!
The Reverend Duane A. Lookingbill
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Barb left an indelible imprint on all of us! My sincere condolences to all her family. I'm sure she's already involved in something 'upstairs'. God speed.
Annie Campion Paul
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I will never forget Miss Avery's government class. She was so enthusiastic! And I will never forget that her favorite motion picture was 'Wings' starring Gary Cooper. A very nice and knowledgable woman both as a teacher and later, as a friend.
Bennett Hart
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Great Lady, will remember all the days in her class.
Learned alot from her although she may not have realized it.
Denise Mohr
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I am sad you hear of Barbara's passing. I got to know her when I worked for Brad Howe and he is was the Republican Chairman. I eventually had lunch with Barbara Avery and Marilyn Barrick on many, many occasions at Stub's downtown. She was a neat lady. I miss those times. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Sally C. DeLoss
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Ms.Avery was such an inspiration to me. She will be fondly remembered for the lives she touched.
JEAN Hurd Meyer
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