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Rogene Avery

October 27, 1936 January 18, 2013
Rogene Avery
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Obituary for Rogene Avery

PRINCEVILLE - Ruth Rogene (Koehler) Avery, 76, passed away at 7:15 pm, Friday, January 18, 2013, peacefully at her home with her loving family by her side following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.
Rogene was born October 27, 1936 in Keokuk, IA and raised on a farm near Basco, IL. She was the oldest of Edwin and Maurine (Disselhorst) Koehler's five children and graduated from Warsaw High School in 1954 and the Blessing Hospital School of Nursing (Quincy, IL) in 1957. She then moved to Peoria, IL, to work as a pediatric nurse at Methodist Medical Center. She married Ben Avery in Sutter, IL on June 28, 1959. He survives.
She was a wonderful mother to her five children all of whom survive, Becky (Mike) Davis of Tremont, IL, Debby Klein of Story City, IA, Rob (Betsy) Avery of Roscoe, IL, Tom (Lisa) Avery of Shawnee, KS, and Jennifer (Jay) Benningfield of Princeville, IL. She was a proud Grandma to seventeen grandchildren and one great-grandson. She is also survived by her father Edwin Koehler (102 yrs); sisters, Shirley Champlain, Joyce (Ron) Schilling, and Phyllis (Stan) Fleck; and brother Cletus (Kathy) Koehler.
She was preceded in death by her Mother (Maurine) and son-in-law Alan Klein.
Rogene was a gracious and giving person with a beautiful, warm presence. She left her nursing job after a short time to stay home with her family. Many in the community share fond memories of the Avery household during the years her five children filled the home. She stayed constantly busy taking her children to all types of activities and volunteering to help with many. Once her youngest was in grade school, she filled her mornings and afternoons by driving the bus for Dunlap School district. Her bus riders enjoyed holiday decorations and annual end-of-the-year party at their home.
Rogene had a lifelong ambition to help others, and her kind and gentle spirit constantly nurtured those she came in contact with. One of her favorite pastimes was volunteering for the Methodist Women's Service League for over 20 years, most recently helping with the show in November '12. Rogene, along with Ben, enjoyed serving at Loaves and Fishes and Midwest Food Bank. She was an active member in her church and her choir and especially her Wesley Sunday School Class where she met her husband and lifelong friends. She loved to organize trips and have potlucks at her home.
Her greatest joys in life were tending to her many flower gardens, trips with Ben, vacations with her family and any time spent with her children and grandchildren.
A celebration of her life will be held at noon, Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Peoria, with Glenn Ioder officiating. Visitation will be held 4-8PM, Tuesday, January 22, 2013 also at the First United Methodist Church. An additional visitation will be one hour before funeral services at the church. Graveside service will be at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday at Prospect Cemetery in Dunlap. Wright Salmon Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be directed to First United Methodist Church, The Methodist Women's Service League, or the Troutman Park in Princeville.
Tribute and condolences may be submitted at


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