Dean L. Ayers, 92, a long-time resident of Churubusco, passed away at 10:16 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2011, surrounded by his loving family.
Ayers was born in Lowell June 1, 1918, a son of Arthur and Carrie (Hathaway) Ayers, and as a child moved to Roanoke with his parents and two brothers.
On April 18, 1944 he was married to Helen Prible. The couple lived in Fort Wayne briefly, prior to moving to Blue Lake near Churubusco in 1946. Later, the couple purchased a small farm southwest of Churubusco.
As a young man he was employed as a union construction worker, and was later employed as a welder for the Fruehauf Trailer Corporation for 39 years, retiring from there in 1981.
He was an active member of the Churubusco United Methodist Church and its Peace Makers Sunday School Class. After his retirement, he enjoyed bowling, swimming and learned to play golf. He became an avid golfer for many years, receiving a lifetime membership at Eel River Golf Course on his 80th birthday from owner Dale Duncan.
He enjoyed helping shut-ins by delivering meals-on-wheels, and assisted neighbors by mowing yards and shoveling snow. He was attentive to visiting friends in hospitals and nursing homes, and enjoyed walking down to â€ścoffeeâ€ť with his buddies at the Ramble Inn in Churubusco. On several occasions, he and his wife, Louella visited their children in various locations in the United States, Europe and Africa.
His first wife Helen preceded him in death July 31, 1966. On Aug. 11, 1969 he was married to Louella (Burnsworth) Shively. She survives, currently living in Fort Wayne.
Also surviving are his children, Cheryl (Gene) Toombs of Charlotte, N.C., Dawn (Ed) Ladig of Churubusco and David (Betsy) Ayers of West Lafayette; four stepchildren Terry (Karlin) Shively of Whitehouse, Ohio, Ted (Terri) Shively of Churubusco, Darlene Clevenger of Fort Wayne and Katie Guthrie of Angola; a stepdaughter-in-law, Ilez Shively of Suncook, N.H.; his older brother, Bruce Ayers of Gary; and two sisters-in-law Thelma Prible Strait of Warren and Peggy Ayers of Bluffton. Also surviving are 22 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and first wife, he was preceded in death by a son, Kent Dean Ayers; a stepson William Shively; and by his younger brother, Bob Ayers.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Churubusco United Methodist Church with Pastor Corinne K. Boruff, officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco, or at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Eel River Cemetery, south of Churubusco.
For those who wish, memorials may be directed to Churubusco United Methodist Church, 750 N. Main St., Churubusco, IN 46723; or to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home, 5910 Homestead Rd., Fort Wayne, IN 46804.To leave an online condolence for the family in Mr. Ayersâ€™ memory, log on to www.sheetsandchilds.net.