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Ralph J.'s Story

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Ralph J. Ayers, born and raised in Newburyport, died at his home, Wednesday, August 24th 2016 at the age of 94.
He was the third child born to the late Frederick D. and Pauline G. Sheehan Ayers. He was predeceased by his wife, Edythe H. McAleer Ayers in 2005, three siblings, Paul F. Ayers, Alice M. Lovejoy and Gary Ayers and his grandson, Ryan C. Kelleher.
He is survived by four daughters, Susan Lovejoy, Joanne Barron, Barbara Gehres and her husband Charles and Nancy Watkins as well as eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Mr. Ayers was a veteran of WW2, serving honorably in the US Coast Guard in armed guard duties on Liberty Ships and shore patrols on the Atlantic Coastline. Upon his enlistment termination, he became very active in city and civic affairs. He was President of the Jaycees and received the Senator-ship Award for leadership. He continued his volunteerism as a member of the Kiwanis Club and also served ten years as a city Councilor. Mr. Ayers became well-known as an active volunteer member of Yankee Homecoming Week creating Olde Fashion Sunday and served as the MC for 52 years. Throughout his life he received many awards for volunteering that included the Salvation Army, Boosters Club, The American Cancer Society and the Anna Jacques Hospital. His later years were spent writing articles for the Daily News, offering free tours of the city as well as painting.
Ralph had a two-fold career as a salesperson and Manager for Metropolitan Life Ins. and Chase and Lunt Agency for 34 years and then became appointed at the age of 63 as the Emergency Management Director for the City of Newburyport by the late Mayor Peter Matthews, where he proudly served for 20 years.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green Street, Newburyport, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 11 a.m. followed by a private burial for immediate family only upon his request.
A Memorial Mass will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 4138, Fullerton, CA 92834.
Published on  August 26, 2016
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