Eileen C. Ayers
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City: Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Born Eileen Cummings in Boston, Massachusetts on May 1, 1920 of Irish Catholic immigrants John J. Cummings and Mary Katherine Cassidy (Athlone, County Roscommon). Went to elementary and high school in Manhattan, N.Y.C. Returned to Boston, received degree January 1942 from Symmes Hospital, Arlington, Mass. as a Registered Nurse (RN). Worked at Boston Lying-In and Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals in Boston.
Joined Navy Nurse Corps July 1943. Served as Navy nurse 1943-1945 as Lieutenant (jg) Eileen Cummings Ayers,(NC) USNR. Married Lt. Alvin Ayers, Navy pilot, March 31, 1945 at the Opa Locka Air Base, Miami, Florida. Moved to St. Cloud, MN. Worked and volunteered at St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud. Worked with Birthright. Member of Sherburne Co. DFL. Was the first woman supervisor on Haven Town Board, St. Cloud. Member of Executive Committee Area Planning Organization. Election Judge and active supporter of democracy.
Eileen's philosophy of living: "To make a good life for yourself and those around you; you must first love yourself and feel yourself to be a worthwhile human being. Then you can really love others. One must have a respect for the dignity of other human beings and be flexible in one's ideas and judgments, because every individual is unique. One must have faith. To believe is to have hope and not to succumb to despair. Be happy without guilt, and enjoy all the wonderful gifts we have in our lives. And like a pebble thrown into a pond, our happiness touches the lives of those around us."
She touched many lives and will be deeply missed by all who knew her. She was full of beauty and grace, unconditional love and compassion. She valued education and was well read with a love of literature, poetry, music and the arts. She was an excellent and creative cook. She was open-minded, with a quick wit. She used her n ursing skills and her wisdom to care for those surrounding her. Many sought her sage advice. She was courageous, taking on the big adventures of enlisting in the Navy and later leaving the east coast and moving to a family farm and rural community where plumbing and electricity were new additions. She was an active partner in the farming operation with her husband while working, volunteering and raising five children and maintaining many friendships.
She died at the Country Manor Nursing Home in Sartell, MN, surrounded by loving family and caring staff on December 31, 2011. Preceded in death by her mother, father, brother John Cummings, sisters Lillian York and Alyce Cook all in Massachusetts, and granddaughter Alexandra Boyer. Survived by her husband, Alvin G. Ayers, and five children, Stephen Ayers (Deanna Hammond), Kathryn Ayers, Evelyn Ayers (Timothy Looby), Jeanne Ayers (Gary Johnson), Mary Louise Ayers (Philip Canova), Nine grandchildren Grey Boyer (Rena Boyer), Kelsey Smogard-Ayers, Soren Smogard-Ayers, Maureen Ayers Looby, Bridget Ayers Looby, Anna Ayers Looby, Emily Ayers-Johnson (Adam Langenfeld), Margaret Ayers-Johnson, Joseph Ayers-Johnson, and two great grandchildren, Alexandra and Mason Boyer.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 12 Noon on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at St. Augustine's Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Visitation: 4-8p.m., Monday (TODAY) at Daniel Funeral Home, St Cloud and at one hour prior to services Tuesday at the church. Rev. Anthony Oelrich will officiate. Burial with military honors will be at Assumption Cemetery, St. Cloud.
Published in the St. Cloud Times from Jan. 1 to Jan. 2, 2012