BURLINGTON, VT. — On Oct. 19, 2013, Walter John Ayers was welcomed home into the arms of the Lord at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. He was born on Dec. 3, 1939, in Granville, N.Y., the son of Walter Laing and Emma Louise (Crouch) Ayers.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by three brothers and one sister: William in 1938, Lawrence in 1949, Thomas in 2010 and Dorothy Irene (Ayers) Morrissey, also in 2010.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty Caroline (Anderson) Ayers of Malone; one son, John Ayers and his partner, Eric VonGruenigen of Phippsburg, Maine; three daughters, Deborah LaVigne (Albert) of Westville, Wendy Slocum and her partner John Warner of Malone, and Jennifer Champagne (Evan) of St. Albans, Vt.; three granddaughters, Faith Slocum of Malone, Kayla LaVigne of Westville, and Vera Champagne of St. Albans; and one great-grandson, Noah Slocum of Malone. He is also survived by one brother, Charles Ayers (Norma) of Middle Granville; one sister, Susan Quiggle (Tom) of Granville; several brothers and sisters-in-law, John Anderson (Barbara) of Wellsboro, Pa., James Anderson (Karin) of Boca Raton, Fla., Joyce Hurd Getty (Jerry) of Salem, N.Y., Nancy Hurd Somers of Valatie, N.Y., David Hurd (Sue) of Morrisonville, and Betty Stage Anderson of Schenectady; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was also predeceased by two brothers-in-law, Alex Anderson of Tupper Lake and Edward Somers of Valatie; and two sisters-in-law, Jean Anderson Thompson of Fredericksburg, Va., and Shirley Anderson of Tupper Lake.
Walt grew up on the 450 acre family farm in Rupert, Vt. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959. He had been a farmer and livestock dealer in West Pawlet, Vt., and Malone for more than 50 years. Walt was also a deputy sheriff for 15 years in Bennington County, Vt., an acting chief of police in Winhall, Vt., past vice president of the Sheriff's Association in Bennington County, Vt., and an auxiliary state trooper in Vermont. He also worked as a logger and drove a tractor-trailer for several milk and slate companies.
Walt enjoyed working with cattle and people. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed hunting on the family farm in Rupert, Vt., with his brothers, son, nephews and lifelong friends, Jack McCormick of Comstock, N.Y., and Tom Waite of Danvers, Mass.
Walt will be greatly missed by his family and friends, especially by the two little grandchildren who loved their "Poppy" so much.
Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Spaulding Funeral Home, Malone, with a service to follow at 7 p.m., or from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct. 24, at Robert M. King Funeral Home in Granville, with a service to follow. Interment will be at Mountain View Cemetery in West Pawlet, Vt.