V. Avonell Lay, Ed.D


V. Avonell Lay, Ed.D

December 6, 1932 ~ August 24, 2019

Age 86

Avonell was a devoted and loving wife and mother who also touched so many other lives as an educator in the Bellevue and Papillion Public Schools.  She attended the University of Missouri Engineering College on a full scholarship, was elected Queen of the Military Ball, and was commissioned the new Honorary Cadet Colonel.

She attended Southern Methodist University on a music scholarship and earned a B.S. in Music as a piano major at the University of Missouri and another B. S. in Music Education at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.  She earned her Elementary Classroom Certification through Creighton University and her M.S. of Music Education at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  She completed her Doctorate of Education in Mathematics/Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1985.  Her dissertation, “The Effects of Middle School Mathematics Practices Upon Student Achievement”, is published at the UNL Library and on their website.

Avonell began as a Music Specialist for Bellevue and Papillion Public Schools and was an Instructional Leader and Gifted Coordinator during that time.  Then she enjoyed many years as an Elementary Classroom Teacher in the Bellevue Public Schools.  She was also an Adjunct Professor at Peru State and UNO.  She was President of the Alpha Iota Chapter of the International Delta Gamma and Honorary Professional Educational Society for Teachers and Administrators.

During the summer, she taught classes in the Basic Forces of Aerodynamics.  An article she wrote “Our Solar System” was published in a National Teacher Journal and was put on the internet by Ithaca College in New York that was also translated into a lesson plan in Chinese.

Avonell enjoyed traveling.  She lived in numerous states and traveled the United States as a devoted military wife and traveled to Thailand to see her husband there during the Vietnam War.  Later they traveled to Hawaii, Canada, England, and France.

As a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she has given her family all they need to enjoy happy and successful lives.  Her legacy lives on strongly through her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and all the many lives she has touched throughout her lifetime.

Avonell was preceded in death by her husband James Odo Lay, Col USAF (Ret); son James Ronald Lay; six siblings; and parents Dr. Barney McCoy Baker and Mertie Sellers Baker.

She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters Janelle Lutz (Pete), and Tamara Wert (Richard); grandchildren Joshua Lutz (Mindy), Sarah Kral (Chris), and April Konstantinos (Myles); great-grandchildren Brock Lutz, Mavrick Lutz, Shadow-Kai Kral, and Kaitlynn Konstantinos; brother Ronald Baker (Pat); sister Jeni Donohue (Bob); and many nieces and nephews.

Celebration of Life Graveside Service:  Tuesday, September 3rd, 11:00 a.m., at Bellevue Cemetery.

Memorials:  American Cancer Society


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