Etta E. AverillNovember 10, 1935 ~ September 14, 2017 (age 81)
A beautiful lady left this world to be with her Heavenly Father, leaving a family who is going to greatly miss their mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt.
Mom was born in Nampa and was raised in Bruneau. The oldest of 4 children, born to James and Florence Hampton, she grew up working the family ranch. She was quite skilled at working a team of horses. One family story tells of when they got their first tractor and how it went through a closed gate when it failed to stop when mom pulled back and yelled “whoa”.
She played basketball in high school and when kidded by us about missing a “shot” at a wastebasket she informed us that she was a guard and didn’t “take those shots”.
She graduated from Bruneau High School with 5 other students and attended Nampa Business School, living in Nampa and babysitting to help supplement her income. She also worked at the Dewey Palace in housekeeping.
She met Jerald “Jerry” Averill and eventually they married June 5, 1954. Dad went into the Army when their first child, Carla, was born and from that time on Etta made the Army her life. Dad said he would’ve retired earlier but she wouldn’t let him. She wasn’t just a wife; she was an “Army wife”. She knew the “ins and outs” of military life and embraced it. They eventually raised 4 “Army brats” while moving from one side of the globe to the other. Gail was born at Mountain Home A.B. when mom came home while dad served his second tour in Korea. Jerry Junior was born in Ft. Hood, TX and Dai was born in Virginia while we were stationed in Norfolk. We moved a lot and mom made a home everywhere we lived, no matter where we were, she always made the most of it and enjoyed wherever we were stationed. She joined the NCO Wives Clubs and started her long-time hobby of bowling. Between her and dad, they amassed quite the collection of bowling trophies.
She endured floods, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, scorpions, and rattlesnakes, and even a moose that attacked their house when they lived in Alaska. She had to be both the mom and dad while dad was stationed in Korea and Vietnam.
When dad retired in 1976, they made their home in Nampa. Mom and dad continued bowling and she was secretary of several leagues, bowling at Nampa Bowling Center while it was still downtown and Bulldog Lanes that used to be where Saltzer Medical Group now stands.
She drove school bus for Brown Bus Co. for 15+ years and even got to meet a few of her former students later in her life. Mom remembered most of her students and we were told she was greatly thought of by her students!
She was a member of the Eagles Lodge in Nampa and was very active. As she got older and could no longer bowl or work, the Eagles was where her heart lay, especially after dad passed away in 2003. She loved bingo and played until it was discontinued and she attended the breakfasts and holiday celebrations in which she could involve her grandchildren. Eventually, the dances were all she could handle. She loved going to the dances every Saturday night and we looked at it as a sign of recovery when, after an illness, she was ready to go back for the music. She loved listening to the band and watching the dancers. She and dad made a great dance couple and she often said she imagined she was still dancing with dad.
She also loved to play “Yahtzee”. No matter how bad things got, it was always a good sign when she wanted to play “Yahtzee”. It was multi-generational, even the great-grandchildren got involved. Much kidding was made about how she was a “master of dice manipulator” and “dice whisperer”!
Mom was a fighter, having had 2 hip replacements, 2 knee replacements, shoulder surgery, and breast cancer. She never gave up even after health problems started ganging up on her. More than once, she surprised everyone and we got to enjoy her company a little while longer. God blessed her every time and even gave him thanks and glory for those blessings.
Mom is survived by children; Carla (Ernie) Wolcott, Gail Bundy, and Dai Averill; grandchildren, Chryssa Clair, Chad (Mia) Anderson, Ethan (Stacy) Anderson, Kimber (Jason) Powell, Victoria Wolcott, Zachary Bundy, Kaitlyn and Shelby Averill, ErniePaul (Laura) Wolcott, Jacob Wolcott, and Rebecca Wolcott; great-grandchildren, Danté, Jeryka, and Mackynzie Clair, Kai and Helix Anderson, Kylie and Jerald Anderson, Kirby and Milo Powell; sisters, Eileen Swenson and Lois (LaVar) Rivers and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Jerry; son, Jerry Jr; both parents; a brother, James Hampton III and son-in-law Ken Bundy.
See you later Mom! You’ve made your final “move” and there will be no lost baggage to contend with, and the only thing “broken” in this “move” is our hearts. Give our love to everyone and take Dad’s hand and start dancing.
There will be a funeral service on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM at Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel, 404 10th Avenue South, Nampa, Idaho. Burial will take place at the Idaho State Veteran’s Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Nampa Eagle's Club in Etta's name.