Farewell Larry Avery

I was shocked and saddened to learn that my high school baseball coach, Larry Avery, died as a result of an auto accident last Wednesday. Mom saw the obituary in the newspaper at home after we returned from Ohio Saturday night. I always had respect for Mr. Avery, and I liked him as a person and a coach. Even though he had a rough style of communication at times, I think he always had the genuine interest of the kids he taught in mind. He made a life out of teaching kids, both in the classroom and on the sports field. I regret that I did not make the trip to Iowa a few months ago for the 15 year reunion of our state baseball championship. Todd told me that Mr. Avery was asking about me. I wish I would have been there. I pray for his family, especially his wife and daughters. Ironically, Mr. Avery's crash was right in front of the high-school where he taught for over 30 years. It is also ironic that he taught drivers education for most of those years, as well as travelled thousands of miles on sports trips, and an auto accident was what led to his untimely death.

From the Fort Madison Daily Democrat:
Larry Avery
Larry E. Avery, 63, of Donnellson, died at 6:50 p.m., Wednesday, September 8, at Fort Madison Community Hospital from injuries received in a traffic accident near Donnellson.
Larry was born on December 25, 1940, the son of Joe and Nellie Wolford Avery. He married Sandra Snowden on August 18, 1962. Mr. Avery was a graduate of Stronghurst High School, Western Illinois University of Macomb, Ill., and he received his master's degree in Physical Education from Truman State in Kirksville, Mo. He taught school in Paris, Ill., for six years and in the Central Lee Community School system for 30 years. He coached football, baseball, and basketball, and officiated track and volleyball. He was of the Methodist faith.
Survivors include his wife, two daughters, Stacy Avery of Austin, Texas and Kathy Jo (husband Mike) Hoffman of Hubert, North Carolina; one sister, Shirley (husband Kendall) Furniss of Media, Ill.; two brothers Lee (wife Lottie) Avery of Media and Charles (wife Edith) Avery of Burlington.
His parents, one sister, and two brothers preceded him in death.
Friends may call after 2 p.m., Saturday, September 11, at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Stronghurst, where the family will receive friends from 6 - 8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Banks & Beals, with Rev. George Knox officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded after the funeral service. Private burial of the ashes will be in the Stronghurst Cemetery.
A memorial has been established for the Central Lee High School Baseball Program.

Update: I wrote a letter to the editor of the Fort Madison Daily Democrat with my thoughts about Mr. Avery, and his untimely death. I was happy to learn that the newspaper published the letter in its September 24th issue.


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