Kenneth B. Ayer, 89, of Chrisney, passed away Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at Miller's Merry Manor in Rockport.
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He was one of 10 children, five boys and five girls, born March 13, 1923, to Fred Ayer Sr. and Pearl (Wiseman) Ayer of Chrisney.
A 1941 graduate of Chrisney High School, Kenneth enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and trained to become a bombardier-navigator on a B-29. On Oct. 14, 1944, he married his high-school sweetheart, Joy LaJeanne Springstun, at San Angelo Air Force Base, Texas.
After World War II, Ken and Joy returned to Chrisney, which became their permanent home. Ken enrolled at Evansville College and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business. Upon graduation, he immediately opened an insurance and real-estate agency in Rockport. He owned and operated this business for more than 40 years. He was elected to the board of directors of Chrisney State Bank. He subsequently became chairman of the board and held that position until the bank was sold to the Lincolnland Bank in Dale. He was then appointed as director of the Dale bank. It was later sold to National City Bank, which later became part of Integra Bancorp of Evansville.
Kenneth was a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Chrisney, the Rockport Masonic Lodge and the Rockport American Legion. He was the past master of Chrisney Masonic Lodge.
Kenneth was an avid sports fan and enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons compete on the high school and collegiate level. Ken loved to hunt, fish, garden and maintain the premises of his home.
During their younger years, he and Joy traveled extensively. They visited the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. and Hawaii. They also visited Europe, Russia and China. But Ken held the belief that "happiness is found in your own backyard, especially when the kids and grandkids are present."
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Verneta Ayer, Iona Selzer and Opal Hudson and two brothers, Edward and Glenn.
Kenneth is survived by his wife, Joy LaJeanne; two sons, Eric K. Ayer (Donna) of Rockport and Brett L. Ayer of Evansville; one daughter, Joy S. Zook (Jeff) of Chrisney; two grandsons, Kent Ayer (Amy) of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Brad Ayer (Kristina) of Winston-Salem, N.C.; two granddaughters, Jessica Ayer of Evansville and Kelsey Ayer of Newburgh; four great-grandchildren, Harrison, James, Kate and Jayda; two brothers, Cleon Ayer (Carrie) of Chrisney and Fred Ayer of Newburgh and two sisters, Doris Woolems (Van) of Dale and Janice Floyd of Louisville.
Memorial donations may be made to Cornerstone UMC or the Spencer County Humane Society.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, (today) at Youngblood Funeral Home in Chrisney and from 9 a.m. to service time Friday, Jan. 18, at Cornerstone United Methodist Church. A Masonic service will be conducted at 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.
The funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday at Cornerstone UMC. The Rev. Mark Miller will officiate. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in Chrisney.
Published in Spencer County Journal-Democrat on Jan. 17, 2013