Arthur “Art” Kootenai Avey, a lifetime resident of North¬eastern Washington, passed away on Feb. 1, 2013 in Colville at the age of 94. Art was born on April 2, 1918 in Cranbrook, BC, the son of Arthur Francis and Clara (Carruth¬ers) Avey.
Following his father’s work opportunities as a lumber millwright, Art resided in several communities in Northeastern Washington with his family, including Orin, Spokane, Cusick and Colville.
He attended the majority of his grade school edu¬cation at the Orin School and graduated from Colville High School in 1937. Art then attended Washington State University on an athletic scholarship before finishing his edu¬cation at Spokane Community College.
While in college, he worked at the Spokane Draper Lumber Mill while instructing flight lessons for students at Gonzaga University. Art an¬swered his call to duty and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Transport Command to serve his country during WWII.
On June 27, 1944 he married Vera “Jean” Sims on the courthouse steps in Dallas, TX, just days before his deployment overseas. Art served as a military flight instructor and Air Cargo Trans¬port Pilot until his honorable discharge on Dec. 16, 1945. He returned to Spokane and won the “Lucky Marble” in a Forest Service Lottery, which brought him and his brother Al to Dead Man Creek, up Jack Knife Mountain, north of Kettle Falls. That began the Avey Bros. Lumber Company.
After the first three winters on Dead Man Creek, Art and Al moved their families and their mill into the city of Kettle Falls, where they have resided since. He and Al sold Avey Bros. Lumber Co. to Pack River in 1969, and continued to work for Pack River until 1976. Art then went into business with his son-in-law, Lynn Hancock, with the purchase of Dominion Motors in Colville. They sold the business in 1988 and Art entered his retirement. He and Vera traveled for eight years following their interests in horse racing before settling back at home to enjoy time with family.
Art was always dedicating himself to the service of oth¬ers. He served as a 7th District Washington State Representa¬tive for four terms between 1958 and 1968, Mayor of Kettle Falls for 20 years, and as the head of the Washington State Board of Aeronautics for many years.
He was also an active community volunteer, donor and fraternal member. His fraternal mem¬berships included the Kettle Falls American Legion, Kettle Falls Lions Club, Masonic Lodge F&AM and El Katif Shrine. He was also instrumental with the construction and completion of the first international airfield, which was named “Avey Field” and whose runway spanned the U.S. and Canadian border.
Art enjoyed fishing and hunting and followed the spor¬ing events of any local/regional city and state athletic team. He was a man of great faith in the common good of all mankind. He offered his friendship to anyone willing to receive it and forgiveness to anyone who took it for granted. He cher¬ished the many walks and car rides with his grandchildren, which often led to an ice cream stop at Sandy’s Drive-in. His wood cutting adventures were often shared with family and created an endless catalog of lifelong reflections. His love, support, kindness and service to humanity will be long re¬membered and forever cherished.
Art was preceded in death by his wife, Jean; brother, Al Avey and his sisters, Rachel Mullenix and Florence Avey.
He is survived by his four daughters, Betty Florence and husband, Gayle, Great Falls, MT; Patti Hancock and hus¬band, Lynn, Kettle Falls; Marty Avey, Spokane; Jeanne Avey, Longview; eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Mr. Arthur K. Avey will begin at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 8 at the Ag-Trade Center in Colville.
Graveside service and vault interment will follow at the Highland Cemetery in Colville. Pastor Shane Moffitt will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Shriner’s Hospital. Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.