It is with great sadness and heavy hearts we mourn the passing of Norman Ayers. He passed away peacefully in the arms of his family at home.
Norman was born January 10, 1928 to Jesse Bryan Ayers and Tillie Henson Ayers in Marion, North Carolina. The family moved to Swannanoa, NC where Norman grew up and made lifelong friends in the “Mill Village”.
Norman worked at Beacon Manufacturing for several years before opening Parkway Gulf Service Station in Oteen, NC, where he spent the next 30 years. He enjoyed his many local friends and customers who traded with him or just stopped by to visit. During his time at Beacon he played on the baseball team as a pitcher. He also played for the semi-pro team Marion (NC)Marauders which traveled to other states to play. He had various invitations to sign and play minor league baseball but at the time found it hard to make a living playing baseball full time. Baseball continued to be his sport throughout his life as he taught his sons and grandsons to play. He rarely missed watching an Atlanta Braves game on tv and had the opportunity to attend several home games in Atlanta. One of the highlights of his life was going to Florida with his daughter, Dawn, in 2007 to attend Spring Training games and meet several major league players. He was so happy to watch his Braves win the World Series! At 6 foot 6 tall, Norman was an imposing figure on and off the ball field.
After closing the station in Oteen, he bought a small community store near the Riceville Fire Department. Parents as well as their children loved the feel of a country store where many friends and memories were made.
Norman loved being outdoors and especially being on his farm raising cows as a hobby, several of which were considered pets. His vegetable gardens were always well tended and prolific enough to share with family, friends and neighbors.
Norman is preceded by his parents, a son, Preston Richard “Dick” Ayers, a daughter, Teresa Ayers Dula (Jerry); a grandson, Michael Warlick and a brother, Loyd C. Ayers.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife of 71 years, Cletus Brigman Ayers; children, Joyce Ayers Dixon (Woodie) of Camden, SC; Kaye Ayers Myers (Gordon) of Fairview, Dawn Ayers Parker of Dacula, GA and Jesse David Ayers of Asheville; grandchildren, Skip Dixon (Mary), Dennis Dixon (Mary M.), Adele Myers-Reingold (Jay), Neil Myers (Carrie), Katie Myers Krier (RJ), Jessica Parker, Matthew Ayers and Regan Ayers Burnette. Norman was also blessed to have 16 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. He also leaves two beloved sisters, Jewell Ayers Padgett and Gail Ayers and his brother, Dean Ayers, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Norman will be remembered for his genuinely happy and friendly spirit, a big smile of sincere welcome and his “Hi, Babe” or “Hey, Bud”!
A funeral service will be held at Oteen Baptist Church on Friday, November 12, 2021 at 11:00am. Burial will follow in Sky View Memorial Park.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Four Seasons Hospice for their care and compassion. Norman was happy to be in the care of Candace, Donavon, Karen, Haley, Anna, Libby, Asia and especially Frances who helped him make this journey.
In lieu of flowers please, make a donation in Norman’s name to the Riceville Fire Department or Oteen Baptist Church.