Barbara Avery, passed away on Aug. 2, 2011, at Northshire Residence in Spencer, Ia. She was the daughter of A.H. and Grace D. Avery. She was born in their home in Spencer on Feb. 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; 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, Ariz.; and her nephews: Stephen Avery (Molly) from Spirit Lake, Ia. and Gan Avery (Pat) from Tucson, Ariz.; 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.