15 Minutes


Resides: Marshalltown

Hometown: Marshalltown – proud member of the Marshalltown High School class of 1957.


Family: Parents were Bernal (Butch) and Reba Dann Avey, both deceased many years. We lived on the corner of Second Street and State in an apartment above Avey Funeral Home, now the location of RACOM headquarters. Son Matthew Avey Bryant and wife Stacie live in Fostoria with their basset hound, Hank.

Pets: Mr. Rusty Basset, my two-year old guard dog.

Hobbies and interests: Traveling. I spent two thrilling weeks in Rome with friends in 2012. Other passions are animals in general, wolves and dogs in particular.


Occupation: Office assistant at the Marshall County ISU Extension and Outreach office. I started as a volunteer 6.5 years ago.

What that means: The work is varied and interesting, with ample opportunity to serve the public. The office is a source of much valuable information. For example, from learning how to conduct a meeting to cooking a turkey and everything in between.

Best part of job: Since my first job at Marshalltown’s Hermans store on Main Street, I have worked as an executive administrative assistant, child care center director and held various corporate and government positions in Washington, D.C.


Books: Reading is another passion. I usually am “involved” in three books at a time – a CD at home, a tape in the car, and a real book to relax with Rusty on my lap. Authors D. Baldacci, N. Barr, J. Evonovich, and W.K. Kruger are favorites.

Sports: I had wonderful “fan” training as a Bobcat, then a Hawkeye (class of ’61) and finally, a Washington Redskin. The most animated you will see me is during a Hawkeye or Redskin game – I do love my football. While growing up, Marshalltown was then, as is now, a sports center with exciting games.


Best part of living here: The best part of living in Marshalltown is being part of a community that cares, that knows how to work, play and take responsibility for itself and others. Area residents embrace welcoming visitors and newcomers with true Iowa hospitality.

Most influential people: My parents, aunts and uncles and their friends. (Being an only child I was influenced by many). Next were the many wonderful, dedicated teachers that opened our eyes to the world, especially in the arts Armon Adams, Richard Francis and Carol Haughton. In literature, Lulabelle Richardson and language, Miss Sadoff. My personal tribute to each is, that years later, I can remember every one of their names and be grateful for lessons and guidance. It has been invaluable no matter where I lived or in position I held.

Local involvement: Spiritual care provider, Friends of the Marshalltown Library board member and First Congregational Church Diaconate among others.

Advice: Cherish your roots whatever one’s age. The values one learns, and the people admired will guide you in future decisions and relationships. And the memories can never be taken away.

15 Minutes is a Saturday feature about central Iowans involved in their communities. The standard question and answer format lends itself to be answered in approximately 15 minutes. To submit a nomination, or to participate, contact Times-Republican Staff Writer Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com