Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clacie Ayers - Rantoul Lodge

Clacie Ayers

RANTOUL – Clacie "Clem" Ayers, 90, of Rantoul passed away on Friday (Sept. 14, 2012) at Amber Glen, Urbana.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church, Rantoul. The Rev. Paul Simpkins will officiate. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery.
There will be no visitation.
Clem was born July 25, 1922, to Clacie and Effie (Borton) Ayers in Rantoul. He attended Rantoul Grade School, Rantoul Township High School and Centenary College in Louisiana. On April 19, 1953, he married Mary Ellen Johnson in Rantoul. She survives.
He is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Tonya Ayers of Royal, and three grandsons, Kyle, Matt and Kendall Ayers, all of Royal; two nieces, Elaine (Herb) Brewer of Florida and Vicki (Michael) Stanley of Pennsylvania; a cousin, Lowell (Matilda) Hill of California; and two brothers-in-law, Gene (Roberta) Johnson of Champaign and Ted (Judy) Johnson of Urbana. Many other nieces and nephews also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Maxine Morgan, and his son, Keith Ayers.
Clem was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Air Corps. He attended Centenary College in Louisiana for pilot training; from there he went to Buckley Field in Colorado, where he served as an airplane armorer 911. He loaded bombs and ammunition in aircraft, removed and replaced bombsights and installed rocket equipment.
After the service, he returned to Rantoul and worked at Zooks Shoe Store until March 1966, when he and his wife, Mary Ellen, purchased the shoe store and operated it under the name of Ayers Shoe Store until March 1986, when he retired.
Clem was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Rantoul and Rantoul American Legion Post 287, where he was a past commander and sergeant of the color guard for many years. He was also a member of the Champaign County 40/8 and Rantoul Masons, lifetime member of the Rantoul Museum, charter member of the Chanute Foundation of Rantoul, member of the Rantoul Historical Society, past co-president of Myna Thompson PTA, past president of Rantoul Business Association and past co-president of Rantoul Senior Citizens Club; and until his illness he sewed for the First United Methodist Church quilting group.
He enjoyed eating and being with family and his three grandsons. He enjoyed refinishing furniture, reading any book about the Civil War, walking and watching University of Illinois football and basketball. He was also a Chicago Bears fan.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church Memorial Fund or to the Alzheimer's Research Association.
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