Gerald Watson “Jerry” Ayers, 93, departed this life for the next on Friday, April 29, 2016, in the presence of family at Grant Hospital in Columbus.
Jerry was born in Pulaski, Virginia, on Aug. 19, 1922, the youngest child of Jeremiah Adam and Emma Sumner Ayers.
The family moved to Circleville when Jerry was a child, and he attended Circleville schools from first grade on. He was a 1942 graduate of Circleville High School, where he played varsity basketball and golf and was a snare drummer in the marching band.
He was drafted into the United States Army and was inducted in December of 1942. He served with the 136th Radio Security Detachment (referred to as the “MPs of the air”) of the Army Air Corps and was deployed to Okinawa in the Pacific Theater in 1945. Jerry was honorably discharged in March of 1946.
On May 7, 1945, while the country was celebrating the news that Germany would sign a surrender document the following day, Jerry married Mildred Harden of Dalton, Georgia, while on leave in Reading, Pennsylvania.
After the war, the couple moved to Circleville, where Jerry and Millie raised three children. He retired from DuPont in 1983.
Jerry was a member of the Circleville Hall-Adkins American Legion Post 134 and played snare drum in the post’s Drum & Bugle Corps from 1949 until 1955. He was active in the Boy Scouts, as Cubmaster of Pack 155 and later as BSA Central District Activities Chairman. He was passionate about golf, which he learned as a caddy, and was a member of the Pickaway Country Club for many years.
Jerry’s mechanical aptitude and creativity was a frequent source of joy to his children, as he often built fun and clever things for special occasions and holidays, from Halloween decorations to special presentations of Christmas presents.
Jerry is survived by Mildred, his wife of nearly 71 years; his son, Michael (Dawna) of Westerville; daughters, Jodell (Tony Landers) of Roswell, Georgia, and Judy (John) Magill of Circleville; grandchildren, Christopher and Emily Magill and Benjamin Ayers; nephew, Jerry (Marlene) Pritchard; and niece, Shirley Tatman.
Interment will be at Reber Hill Cemetery, where there will be a private graveside service for the family.
Anyone wishing to may make a gift in Jerry’s name to the Circleville Food Pantry.
Arrangements are under the direction or the Wellman Funeral Home. Visit www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal