Forsyth Memorial Park
Aug 19, 1926 - Apr 19, 2017
William Edward Ayers Jr., born August 19, 1926 to William E. Ayers and Eunice Hedrick, died April 19 after a brief illness. He graduated from RJ Reynolds High School, The McCallie School and UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a cheerleader who introduced the victory bell to the winner of the Duke vs. Carolina football game. Bill was a member of Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. His years at Chapel Hill were interrupted by WWII when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was a member of Reynolda Presbyterian Church, where he greatly enjoyed the men's breakfast on Tuesday mornings for many years, participating in the kitchen preparation. Bill retired as VP of Vulcan Materials Company. His work included locating many of the stone quarries that provide granite for the state. After leaving Vulcan, he consulted with Martin Marietta and co-founded Salem Stone. He and Patricia Ann Ruff were married in 1951. Survivors include his wife and six children: William E. Ayers III (Shirley), Patricia Lynn, Jeffrey Fredolin, Robbie Gretchen Sperduti, John Christopher, and Joel Dermont (Catie). He was also blessed to have six grandchildren: Will Ayers IV, Jessica Hynek (Matt), Amanda Sperduti, Jeffrey Ayers Jr. (Ashley), Aiden and Ava Ayers, and great-grandchildren Cooper Hynek and Heath Ayers. Bill loved his family, UNC basketball and football, playing golf, jazz, and we can't forget cuban cigars! We are devastated, yet grateful to have had him as the patriarch, the rock, the center of our family. We will love him and miss him forever. A private graveside service will be held at Forsyth Memorial Park. Online condolences may be made to www.salemfh.com.
Dear Pat and Family,
I have been thinking of you all recently. Years ago, when I was selling real estate, I would occasionally see Bill at the counter at Westend Cafe. I enjoyed talking with him. So sorry about your losing him, but you have wonderful memories of a long time together. I send my love to you all, especially to Gretchen, whom I got to know better in her "grown-up" life.
John A Parham
I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ayers but Bill III and I grew up together at Reynolds and have stayed friends over the years and he spoke very highly of his father. He will be missed by his family. God bless him and the rest of the Ayers family.
Gretchen and Family - I am so very sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad & husband. I know he was a wonderful man and your family will miss him very much. Peace to you all. Pam Todd
I will never forget being seven years old, sitting on the bedroom floor along with Chris and Joel, along with four oscillating fans, "flying" combat missions in our "B-29." Or the ultimate gift, a ride in the Vulcan Materials Lear 35 to DC with Newkirk at the controls in his cowboy boots. 40,000 feet and 550 knots indicated. Memories that have guided my life as an artist and pilot. I am confident at this hour he's hanging out with Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice. For God's sake Bill, don't light up one of your stogies or the Almighty will banish you to sit behind the bench and Coach K at Cameron!
My prayers and thoughts are with you Pat, and the entire Ayers family during this difficult time. I have fond memories of Bill and just had a conversation with him several weeks ago during his hospitalization. He bragged about how proud he was of Jeffrey and what a wonderful young man he is. It was obvious to me that Bill was full of love and pride for his family. May God be with you all during this time and may his love and grace comfort you all.
Ayers family, we're sending our love to you in this time of loss. xoxo The Bevils
Wow...what a life well lived. God Bless You Bill, and your wonderful family. I love you all. Hal
Bill was a special friend and a mentor to me early in my career with Vulcan Materials and Martin Marietta. He was a very special personality who I enjoyed being with. He and I worked on quarry opportunities and he was able to come up with some good ones. I did have to ban him from smoking those Cuban cigars when we were in the car together. I'm sorry to see him go, but he accomplished much and had a lot to be proud of.