(Extensions of Remarks - November 09, 2009)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2754]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         HONORING WILLIAM AVERY


                            HON. JERRY MORAN

                               of kansas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Saturday, November 7, 2009

  Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Madam Speaker, I rise today in memory of William 
Avery, former Governor and Congressman from the state of Kansas. 
Governor Avery passed away November 4th at the age of 98 in his home 
state that he served in so many ways. Prior to his passing, he was the 
oldest living former member of Congress. A lifelong Kansan, Governor 
Avery deserves to be celebrated as a fine public servant and a good 
  A native of Wakefield, Kansas, he returned to the family farm after 
graduating from the University of Kansas. Then, Governor Avery did what 
many young men of his generation did. He left the family farm to serve 
his country in World War II as a pilot. This would be only the first 
act of service in what would prove to be a distinguished career serving 
the people of not only Kansas, but the nation.
  Following his service on his local school board, Governor Avery 
served four years in the Kansas House of Representatives. This preceded 
his decade long career representing Kansas in the House of 
Representatives. Governor Avery then added to his already impressive 
resume by becoming Kansas' 37th Governor serving in 1965 and '66. While 
he served only one, two-year term, Governor Avery made a series of 
indelible marks on the cultural and political landscape of Kansas. 
Governor Avery would see his political career come to a final close 
following an election loss to Bob Dole in a GOP Senatorial primary.
  Today, we see an increasing number of public officials who have lost 
touch with their constituencies. They move to Washington or their 
respective state capitals and become someone other than the person who 
was originally elected. Governor Avery was certainly not one of those 
men. He was simply a farmer and rancher that was entrusted with 
providing for the wellbeing of his state and nation. Public servants 
would do well to use this man as a model for their own service. A true 
man of the people whose heart stayed on the farm on which he was 
raised. Yet unselfish enough to leave to serve his state and nation 
when called upon to do so.
  A statesman and a gentleman who pursued the right ends regardless of 
their popularity, Governor Avery would have undoubtedly had a lifelong 
political career had he focused on the politically expedient choices 
rather than the choices that would benefit Kansas. That type of courage 
is, unfortunately, often a rarity in today's leadership. Yes, the 
family and friends of Governor Avery have lost an important part of 
their lives. But everyone who has ever held an elected office in this 
nation has lost a role model of the highest caliber.
  My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Governor Avery during 
this time of mourning. His children William Avery, Jr., Brad Avery, 
Barbara Avery, and Sue Avery along with their families have much to be 
proud of. I am thankful for his service and honored to call him my 
fellow Kansan.