James Edward “Ed” Ayers went to be with his Lord on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, surrounded by his loving family.
Ed was the oldest child born to Edna and Jim Ayers on May 16, 1936, in Blossom, Texas. He grew up in Paris, Texas where he graduated from Paris High School and was lovingly known by his close friends and family as “Honse” from his high school football days. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1959 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Ed dearly loved his family, golf and the Aggies. He was a football season ticket holder at Texas A&M for 40 plus years and thoroughly enjoyed tailgating with his family before each home game in the fall. Ed and Shirley’s love for Texas A&M University extended to establishing a Permanently Endowed 12th Man Scholarship in 1996.
He started dating his sweetheart Shirley in high school after she took the first step in asking him to a Christmas dance in Paris, Texas and the rest is history. They were happily married for 60 years making life-long friends through their 28 moves which took them on adventures to Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Alabama.
Upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 1959 as a Distinguished Military Graduate he was awarded Regular Army Commission in May of 1959. Ed served with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. In 1962, he completed helicopter, fixed wing and fixed wing instrument flight training. He graduated as top pilot in both the fixed wing and fixed wing instrument schools and was second in the helicopter school. He then went on to serve with the 8th Transportation Company in Qui Nhon, Vietnam as a U.S Army Pilot, where he was awarded the U.S Air Medal with 11 oak clusters. He resigned regular army commission of Captain following completion of one year of duty in Vietnam and began his career at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.
Ed had a remarkable career spanning 30 years at Southwestern Bell where his unwavering leadership was called upon on many occasions. He supervised the repair of all telecommunications in the Houston/Beaumont area following Hurricane Alicia in 1983, he served as the General Chairman for the Telephone Pioneers Assembly attended by 1500 delegates from the United States and Canada and he was responsible for all telecommunications services for the 1992 Republican National Convention held in Houston.
After retiring from Southwestern Bell, he and Shirley moved to Horseshoe Bay, Texas where they have called home for 28 years.
During his retirement, he continued his involvement in both his church and the community. He was President of Highland Lakes A&M Club, President of Lake LBJ Municipal Utility District, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at The Church at Horseshoe Bay and a board member for the World Senior Golf Federation and the Property Owners Association of Lake LBJ Municipal Utility District.
Ed is preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Edna Ayers, from Paris, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Shirley, of Horseshoe Bay; his brother, Larry and sister-in-law Betty, of Snellville, Georgia; son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Lorrie Ayers, of Austin; son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Karen Ayers, of Cypress; grandchildren, Justin, Brenton, Brian and his wife, Christina, Jason, Ryan and Brandon; niece, Stacy and husband, Bill Chick; niece, Kim Hoffman; and niece, Melissa and husband, Russell Tyson.
He will be sincerely missed by his family and friends and his legacy will live on through his two sons and six grandsons.
A celebration of Ed’s life including a military funeral with full honors will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 1 p.m., at the Aggie Field of Honor, in College Station, Texas. In lieu of customary remembrances, and for those desiring, memorial contributions may be directed toward the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets: (https:/corps.tamu.edu/support-the-corps-of-cadets) or The Church at Horseshoe Bay at P.O. Box 8295, Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657.