Willis Eugene Ayres, the son of Bernita (Graham) and Harry Doyt Ayres, was born April 14, 1940 in Smith County, Kansas. He departed this life surrounded by his family Monday, January 3, 2022 at his home in Franklin, Nebraska at the age of 81 years, 8 months and 19 days.
A lifelong resident of Franklin county, Gene received his formal education attending the Riverton schools and then graduated from Franklin with the class of 1957. A s a youth he had fond memories of riding his shetland pony, Skippy, to school. He also was involved with showing black angus cattle at the state fair. A veteran of the United States Army and National Guard, he served his country until his discharge. Gene was united in marriage with Patricia Olson on June 14, 1959, at the Congregational Church in Franklin. Gene farmed in the Riverton area until 1961, when he became a heavy equipment operator and was involved with the construction of Interstate 80, working on the section from the Grand Island exit to the Wyoming border. In 1972, he returned to the farm. For several years Gene also was employed as an over the road semi truck driver and covered the entire United States.
In his leisure time he enjoyed playing cards with family and friends, working in his yard, and having coffee with his many friends. His greatest love and enthusiasm in life was for his family and he especially cherishing time spent with his grandkids.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Bernita and Doyt Ayres; two sisters, Linda G. Fruhling and Gloria Sue Ayres, and a brother, Gary L. Ayres.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 62 years, Pat Ayres of Franklin, Nebraska; a daughter, Stephanie Ayres and husband Ken of Richmond, Texas and his son, Trevor Ayres of Franklin, Nebraska; 3 grandchildren, Eric Ayres, Matthew Ayres, and Brittany Schippert and husband, Nick, and Gene’s two great grandchildren, Gabriel and Iris; sister, Rebecca "Gwen" Sieckmann of Longmont, Colorado. Also surviving are other relatives and his many friends.
Memorial services will be Friday, 10:30 am., January 14, 2022, at the Congregational Church in Franklin with Pastor Jay Towell officiating. Inurment will be at the Greenwood Cemetery.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
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