William Ayres passed away peacefully at his home in Fayette, MO on March 1, 2023.
William Valentine Ayres was born February 7, 1934 in Windsor, MO to the late Samuel and Viola (Valentine) Ayres. The family moved to Fayette in 1936, where Mr. Ayres resided until his death. William graduated from Fayette High School with the class of 1952. On June 8, 1953, William enlisted in the U.S. Army and honorably served his country for two years. On August 30, 1958, William married Dorothy Jean Thompson of Tyler, TX. Together, they’ve enjoyed over 64 years of marriage.
As a longtime resident of Fayette, William was active in community affairs for most of his life. With his parents, he owned and operated Ayres Dry Goods store until 1982. He served as mayor of Fayette for two terms in the late 1970’s, having served as city treasurer and alderman prior to that time. During his four-year term of office, He upgraded Fayette’s power, water and sewage systems, and built two new housing projects, primarily with government grants. He was involved in health care planning for the state of Missouri, and was elected Chairman of the MO Health Coordinating Council. From 1980-1986, he was administrator of Keller Memorial Hospital, where his interest in statewide health care continued. During this time, he was also a member of the Fayette Medical Care, Inc. board. He was also employed by Commercial Trust Company until his retirement in 1999.
Survivors include his wife of the home, Dorothy Ayres; two children, David Thompson (Laura) Ayres of Osprey, FL and Amy Elizabeth (Joe) Larkin of Oskaloosa, IA; four grandchildren, Elizabeth, William, Raphe and Katherine; sister, Betty (Robert) Otto of Chicago, IL. He is also survived by two nephews, Samuel and Robert Otto.
A memorial service honoring the life of Mr. Ayres will be held 2 PM, Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Friemonth-Freese Funeral Home in Fayette. There will be no visitation, but friends are encouraged to call on the family at the home. Inurnment will be held privately at Fayette City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Fayette Area Historical Association, c/o Friemonth-Freese Funeral Service, 174 Hwy. 5 & 240 N., Fayette, MO 65248.
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