Avery Boose, born August 8, 1928 in Elkhorn Iowa to A. Martin and Amanda (Fredrickson) Boose. He lived in town and spent all 12 years of his elementary and secondary education in Elkhorn School system. Avery was a youngster growing up during the Great Depression. His father was a Ford dealer mechanic and lost his job in 1934 when the depression deepened, since no cars were being sold…people were just not buying. But the family maintained a huge garden, so they were never hungry.
His folks took local jobs – his dad became the Assistant County Assessor and his mother was able to get a job with a local produce company of “candling” eggs. At the age of 9, Avery got a job on the edge of town delivering milk. His “pay” was in the form of milk for his family needs. Being in a farming community, Avery was also able to get summer jobs of all kinds on local farms. In his junior and senior high school, he also worked at the local produce business. He didn’t have a license to drive a truck, but that didn’t keep him from driving one on customer routes of picking up cases of eggs and hauling feed bags. Avery weighed 130 pounds and that wasn’t to much more than the feed bags that weighed 100 pounds that he had to man-handle
He graduated in May 1945 with the honor of being recognized as the “Outstanding Boy”. Shortly after graduation he enlisted in the Navy. He was the youngest of three sons and his older brothers were already in the military – one in the Army and one in the Navy. His dad had been in infantry in World War I. So Avery felt compelled to carry on this family tradition even though he was only 17 at the time of enlisting.
He was immediately sent to San Diego for eight weeks of basic training. [Bob Hope clipping] Following basic training, he was sent to Mare Island, near San Francisco. The Mare Island Naval Shipyard was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean (The base closed in 1996). Avery was trained as an electrician mate and shipped out on USS Sierra, a repair ship. The USS Sierra carried a total crew of over 1100. Being an electrician mate, Avery would be part of the maintenance team that would be responsible for repairing an extremely wide range of equipment. The Sierra headed for China and tied up in port at Tsingtao. The ship crew rarely left the ship and would be stationed here for over a year. Early in December 1947 the ship returned to San Diego and Avery was soon discharged.
He returned to Elkhorn and began work as a plumber. In the summer of 1949, he decided to go to college. In the fall of 1949 he enrolled at Simpson College in Indianola IA. In high school he had participated in basketball and baseball, and he intended to follow the same sports in college, but the baseball coach was also a football coach and urged Avery to go out for football. One day during practice when Avery was drop kicking the football, the coach took notice and decided to make Avery the extra-point kicker. “Drop kicking” is a talent and a rule that have long since been forgotten by most. [clipping] Avery would be quarterback on the football team and gain notoriety as an extra-point “drop kicker”. Baseball was his best and favorite sport. He batted third in the lineup and his batting average was over .400 his junior and senior season. But perhaps a more important fact is that in four years of being a starting Centerfielder, he never missed an inning of play! That is phenomenal!
[Note: In 1979, he was inducted into the Simpson College S Club Hall of Fame. While at Simpson, he earned 9 varsity sports letters. Along with numerous family and friends, two former Boose student athletes and Simpson graduates also honored Avery with their presence at the induction. They were Jim Hicks (Red Oak class of ’65) and Barbara Houghton (Red Oak class of ’65). [Jim was the son of Lloyd Hicks, and Barbara was the daughter of Deemer Houghton.]
During his college days, when there was an opportunity, Avery would come home to Elkhorn to visit his parents. On one of those visits, he attended a dance in Elkhorn and there he met a young lady from Walnut. That was the beginning of a relationship that endures to this day. On Easter Day, April 13, 1952 Phyllis and Avery were married. Avery would continue his college education as a married man.
[Note: Phyllis and Avery had two children and now have 4 grand children. Barbara was Red Oak class of ’71 and James was Red Oak class of ’76. For a number of years, James held the Red Oak football rushing record and made second team all-state his senior year. Barbara would attend Drake University and was on the starting team on the first softball team fielded by Drake. Each Barbara and James have a boy and a girl.]
Avery graduated from Simpson in May 1953 and that fall he started his teaching and coaching career at Stanton High School. In the ’54-’55 season, Avery recalls that he coached one of the finest teams ever to play in Montgomery County. His top players were Talton Anderson, Max Isaacson,Vance Nimrod, Stan DeBolt, Paul Johnson, Dawane Peterson, and Larry Swanson. Avery says that if he could have put his team together with Wales-Lincoln that they could have beat any team in the state! (…I dare say that a great many spectator at that time would agree).
Avery would coach at Stanton two more seasons before leaving Stanton to take a mathematics teaching job at Red Oak in the fall of 1957. At the time, Red Oak had virtually no formal sports programs for girls. Avery, being an extremely competitive individual, wanted to change that. On his own and without pay, he started girls softball with a summer and a fall program. His effort was a real boost for girls athletics at Red Oak that has continued to this day. He would continue his mathematics teaching at Red Oak and retire from teaching in 1989 having been a teacher for 32 years.
During his teaching career, Avery had been very involved in sports officiating and was a referee/umpire/starter/etc for football, basketball, baseball and track for 30 years. He remembers that in the early days, he got $25 to umpire a double header in baseball. Another “double” event that he recalls was a junior varsity and varsity boys basketball game that he and Bob Williams officiated in Mt Ayr. The first game went into overtime and the varsity game went in to double overtime!..they earned their meager pay that evening. [Note: Bob Williams was the Junior High Principal at Red Oak and then later he became the Superintendent at Villisca].
Phyllis and Avery had two children and now have 4 grandchildren. Barbara was Red Oak class of ’71 and James was Red Oak class of ’76. For a number of years, James held the Red Oak football rushing record and made second team all-state his senior year. Barbara would attend Drake University and was on the starting team in softball. Each Barbara and James have a boy and a girl.
Over the years, he has been involved in numerous organizations:
•He is a charter member of The National World War II Museum in Washington DC.
•He was on the Red Oak Park Board for 17 years and during that time ◦The Board was responsible for the new swimming pool,
◦they fixed the Chautauqua Pavilion located in Chautauqua Park. (This pavilion was originally built in 1907)
◦They rebuilt The Legion Baseball Stadium and Field
◦They built Dutton Park and Wilson Park
◦as well as a large number of other projects.
•He spent 4 years on the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors.
•He has been a long time member of the Red Oak Elks – Lodge 1304. He has served on the Elks scholarship committee for 30 years, as well as being on the board of trustees for ten years. He has been on the Elks State of Iowa Board of Trustees for eight years. In 1975 he was the state president. He was also a National officer four times. He speaks with pride of his association with The Red Oak Elks and the positive impact that the organization has had on this community.
•He has been a member of the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Court of Honor for 40 years m/l, and is still very active with The Court of Honor. He credits Vernie Mainquist with pressing him to gather the names of over 90 World War II veterans from Montgomery County IA to be engraved on the memorials that currently set in Fountain Square Park in downtown Red Oak. There were a number of volunteers on this project including Charles and Norma Wilson that donated the concrete. He noted that it was an emotional project, as well as being very time-consuming, but after all the work was done, it was personally very satisfying.
One of Avery’s most memorable moments came in August 2010, when he and Dean Schantz were among the veterans that were guests of HyVee and Casey’s to fly out of Des Moines as part of The Honor Flights.
[Note: The inaugural Honor Flight took place in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. Since that beginning, literally thousands of WWII Veterans have been honored by being flown to Washington DC to visit the nation’s monuments honoring their military service. For more information, I invite, and indeed encourage, you to go to the Honor Flight Organization website: http://www.honorflight.org/]
His pastime hobby is baking…he especially loves to bake cookies and cinnamon rolls. He does admit that the two back surgeries and two knee replacements have limited his physical activity, but he would not trade today’s pain for the competitive experiences of his youth. Most mornings you can find Avery (bad knees and all) having coffee at Rainbow seating at the big round table “with the boys!”