KCUR News
8:34 am
Fri November 6, 2009

Former Kansas Governor William Avery Dies

Topeka, KS – William Avery, a one-term Republican governor in the 1960s and former U.S. House member, has died, the governor's office said Thursday. He was 98.

Gov. Mark Parkinson's office said Avery died Wednesday and ordered flags across the state lowered until Nov. 14.

"Governor Avery led our state during a time of tragic loss and national attention. Kansas honors his long life and service to our state. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and family," Parkinson said in a statement.

Born Aug. 11, 1911, he grew up on the family farm in Wakefield. After graduating from the University of Kansas he returned there to farm and raise livestock.

Avery entered politics as a local school board member after a stint as a pilot in World War II. He then served in the Kansas House from 1951-55. After that, Avery began a decade-long career as a congressman from the 2nd District before running for governor.

Avery served his one term from 1965-66, when a governor's term was two years. He was defeated for re-election by Democrat Robert Docking, receiving 44 percent of the vote.