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Governor lowers flags in recognition of former governor's passing

November 05, 2009 12:00AM

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson has directed flags across Kansas to fly at half-staff from now until sundown Nov. 14 in recognition of the death of former Kansas Gov. William H. Avery.

"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.

Kansas Executive Order 07-22 states that 'Upon the death of the Governor or a former Governor, the flag of the United States shall be displayed at half-staff throughout the State of Kansas from the day of death until interment.' Governor Avery's services are expected on November 14th in Wakefield.

To read the full executive order on Flag Honors, please visit To be notified of the governor's directives regarding flag lowering, please visit

From the Kansas State Historical Society:

William Avery was born on Aug. 11, 1911, near Wakefield in Clay County, Kan. After attending Wakefield High School, he graduated from the University of Kansas in 1934. He returned to farming and ranching in Wakefield and married Hazel Bowles in 1940. He has four children.

A Republican, Avery was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1950 and served until 1955. In 1954, he campaigned for the Republican nomination for the U. S. House of Representatives on an "anti-big-dam" platform, opposing the Tuttle Creek Dam project on the Blue River. He won both the nomination and election, beginning a congressional career which would span the next 10 years. In 1964 Avery left the U. S. House and was elected 37th governor of Kansas. He served one term as governor, losing a re-election bid to Robert Docking in 1966. In 1968 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination to the U. S. Senate. Avery returned to private life and settled in Wichita, Kansas. He was with Garvey Enterprises (1967-1968), the Clinton Oil Company (1969-1971), and later served as president of the Real Oil Company.

For more information on the William H. Avery Papers Collection at the Kansas State Historical Society, please visit:

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