Robert J. Avery, 89, of Kerrville, Texas, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas. He was surrounded by his loving family — wife Beverly, son Mark, and daughters Kelly and Lisa.
Bob, as he was known to everyone he met, was born on Jan. 2, 1930, in Elmhurst, Illinois, to David and Doris Avery. Bob was a 1948 graduate of Onarga Military School, in Onarga, Illinois, and went on to continue his studies at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1952.
While stationed in San Angelo, Texas, as a member of the United States Air Force, he met the love of his life, Beverly Brooks. He and Beverly married on June 3, 1955, in San Angelo. Bob and Bev moved back to his home state of Illinois to build their life together and raise their three children.
Bob’s professional career as a teacher and coach included: 1956-59, Onarga Military School, Onarga, Illinois; 1959-64, Arcola High School, Arcola, Illinois; 1964-67, Central High School, Champaign, Illinois; 1967-69, Centennial High School, Champaign, Illinois; 1969-88, Mattoon High School, Mattoon, Illinois.
Coach Avery, as his students and players knew him, positively impacted the lives of everyone with whom he came into contact. A highlight of his coaching career came in 1964, when his Arcola basketball team earned Sweet 16 status in the State Finals.
In addition to coaching and teaching, Bob earned his Masters degree from Illinois State University, Bloomington, Illinois, and served in the U.S. military for 20 years. He retired as a Major from the U.S. Air Force and Army Reserves.
Bob was a very active man with a love for all sports. Some of his extracurricular activities included officiating as an Illinois High School Association football referee; he was a member of the Illinois High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and The Retired Officers Association (Kerrville, Texas). Once retired in Texas, he continued his passion for sports by playing golf.
Bob was a lifelong Christian Scientist and a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist in Kerrville, Texas.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Art and Bill; and sister Helen.
He is survived by his wife of 64-plus years, Beverly; their son, Mark (and wife, Susan); two daughters, Kelly and Lisa; three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Bob Avery was a friend to all who knew him. The world is a better place because of him, and he will be forever missed.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Best Western Inn in Arcola, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.