ASHFORD AYERS - Harrisville

Ashford Ayers, 99, of Harrisville, died peacefully Saturday at his residence. He was born near Smithville Feb. 13, 1904, the son of the late Allen A. and Eva J. Howard Ayers. His maternal grandparents were James Ashford Howard and Mary Foster Howard. Paternal grandparents were Major Michael A. and Mary Smith Ayers, who built and operated the "Ayers House" Hotel. His great-grandparents were Moses and Vashti Potter Ayers. On the Smith side his great- grandparents were Issac and Hannah Collins Smith, great-great grandparents Barnes and Anne Earle Smith and Isaac and Rachel Cunningham Collins. His great-great-great grandparents were Thomas and Phoebe Cunningham of Indian fame. Ashford was married for 55 years to Ruby Risher, of Morgantown. He has one daughter Alice Ann and her husband Don Brown; three grandchildren, David of Vienna, Danny and his wife Leanne of Parkersburg and Kathy and her husband John Moore of Fleming, Ohio; four great grandchildren, Megan, Heather, Johnny Moore and Nicole Brown. Ashford attended Smithville Grade School for five years before moving to Harrisville in 1917, where he attended grade school and high school. He graduated from West Virginia University in 1931. He taught school at Lick Run and Smithville, was assistant superintendent of schools for Ritchie County, a teacher and principal of Harrisville Grade School and a teacher at Harrisville High School from 1955 until his retirement in 1969. He also was clerk of the maintenance department and director of attendance and pupil personnel for the Ritchie County school system. Mr. Ayers served with Dr. Feister on the Stat Survey of the West Virginia Educational System, working in eight counties. He also served on the advisory committee of the state department of education on state and county testing and chaired a sub-committee on diagnostic tests. He also was a member of several other state department of education committees. Ashford had been associated with Raiguel Funeral Home in Harrisville since 1942. He and Ruby drove in all 50 of the United States and visited 11 countries in Europe. Ashford was a member of the Harrisville Baptist Church since 1922 and a Mason since 1925. He is a past master of the Harrisville Lodge. He was a member of the Scottish Rite, York Rite Bodies and the Nemesis Temple of the Shrine. He was a member of Bethany Shrine #4 White Shrine of Jerusalem. He was a member of Harrisville Chapter #29 Order of the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Patron for more than 30 years. He was granted a life membership in the O.E.S. He was a member of the Harrisville Lions Club since 1935. He served as president and in most other offices in the local club. Upon recommendation of the local club he received a life membership from Lions International after being a member for 55 years. In 1992, Ashford became the first Harrisville Lion to be named a Melvin Jones Fellow. While a student at WVU, he was a member of the Theta Chi National Fraternity, serving as its president in 1928. In 1929, he served as president of the Interfraternity Council. He was a member of the WVU Alumni Association and the Emeritus Club, comprised of graduates of 50 or more years ago. Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Monday, at Raiguel Funeral Home, Harrisville, with Rev. Robert Perine and Rev. Kenneth Perine officiating. Burial will follow in the Harrisville IOOF Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Sunday from 4:30-9 p.m. and Monday from 9-11 a.m.