Judson Freeman Ayers, Jr., 80, resident of 105 Fair Oaks Lane, husband of Mildred Smith Ayers died Saturday, November 9, 2013 at Self Regional Medical Center.
Born in Greenwood, March 17, 1933, he was a son of the late Judson Freeman, Sr. and Viola Pitts Ayers. A 1951 graduate of Greenwood High School, Mr. Ayers was a 1954 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy aboard the USS Pittsburg following a midshipman cruise to various ports in Canada and Cuba. He served in the amphibious forces aboard the USS Rankin along the Atlantic coastline and the Caribbean before his ship was transferred to the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. After a year in the Mediterranean, he was released from the ship in Livorno, Italy and was subsequently released from active duty with the rank of full lieutenant, United States Navy Reserve, in1956.
Mr. Ayers then entered the University of Virginia Law School where he graduated with a juris doctor degree in 1959. After practicing law in Chattanooga for a year, he returned to Greenwood where he had practiced law until his death with the law firm Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, P.C. He was a member of the Greenwood County Bar Association, the South Carolina and American Bar Associations, the South Carolina Association for Justice, and was a former member of the Nation Board of Trial Advocacy and the Tennessee Bar Association.
He was a former charter member of the Joppa Masonic Lodge #387 AFM, Hejaz Shrine Temple, Lions Club. A former member of the Greenwood City Council, he was formerly Greenwood County Magistrate and previously served as Representative in the South Carolina State House.
A member of the First Baptist Church, he was a former member of the Baracca Sunday School Class where he served as teacher for twenty-five years. He was a member of the Carpenter Sunday School Class. He served several terms as a member and was former Chairman of the Diaconate. He was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
Surviving in addition to his wife of the home are two daughters, Jill A. Marchant of the home and Heidi L. Ayers and husband Tim of Fernandina Beach, FL; a son, Judson F. Ayers, III and wife Carol of Raleigh, NC; six grandchildren, Cannon Marchant of Lexington, Landon Marchant of the home, Gracen Ayers and Andrew Ayers of Fernandina Beach, FL , Nathaniel Ayers and Padraig Ayers of Raleigh, NC; two sisters, Jean Rymer and husband Bill of Rogersville, TN and Ann Ayers of Greenwood; an uncle, John H. Pitts of Greenwood; and various nieces and nephews, all of Tennessee.
A memorial service will be conducted Monday at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church with Dr. Tony Hopkins and Dr. J. William Harris officiating.
The family will receive friends Monday immediately following the service in the church social hall and at other times at the home in Gatewood.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, 722 Grace Street, Greenwood, SC 29649 or to a charity of one's choice.
Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the Ayers family.
In February of 2009 a new concept was introduced to Greenwood. Our addition of an "in house" Chapel Crematory became the first and only of its kind in the area. A member of the Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services is always in the building and available to serve you 24 hours a day 365 days a year.