Billy Lavern Ayres, better known as “Pepaw” passed away unexpectedly Thursday, November 19 th in his home in Guymon, Oklahoma. Bill was born on June 26, 1929 to William Holland Ayres and Nellie Marie
Bynum Ayres in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. He was a proud member and elder of the Chickasaw Nation and
grew up on a farm outside of Tishomingo hunting squirrels and fishing Pennington Creek and the Blue
Bill graduated from Tishomingo High School in 1949 and went to work in Borger, Texas driving an oilfield
truck and then in Kent, Washington for Boeing Aircraft for a short spell before joining the Navy in 1951
as an aircraft mechanic in the technical library in Whidbey Island. He was honorably discharged after
serving four years and receiving the Medal of Good Conduct. During his time in the Navy, he was
introduced by a friend through mail to the love of his life, Patsy Allyne Dunn. They corresponded for
several years, writing love letters back and forth without ever having met in person until Bill got out of
the Navy and started college at OSU and showed up in Dumas one day to ask Patsy to marry him.
Bill started college at his beloved OSU in Stillwater in 1955; while attending OSU, Bill and Patsy were
married at the First Baptist Church in Dumas, Texas on March 31 st , 1956 and returned to OSU where Bill
graduated in three years in 1958 with a Bachelor’s in Education. After graduation Bill and Patsy moved
to Ponca City where Bill was teaching Physical Education and coaching.
In 1959, they moved to Albuquerque where Bill taught physical education and science until Patsy’s
parents, Bill and Flora Dunn persuaded them to move to Colorado Springs in 1962 to help run a motel
they bought. While helping operate the motel, Bill begin teaching at Talbott Elementary in Widefield,
and decided to further his education in the summers by attending Western State in Gunnison, Colorado.
The family enjoyed many wonderful days during those summers fishing the rivers and lakes around
Gunnison until Bill graduated in 1970 with his Master’s in Education.
Bill and Patsy had three children born to them, Greg, who died at birth in 1960, Rodney Dean born in
1963 and Vicki Nell born in 1966 and later, arose to a need and brought in Loraine Strobel as a member
of their family.
Throughout their marriage, Bill and Patsy enjoyed square dancing, family camping and fishing trips,
genealogy, traveling across the country and absorbing all the history, listening to country music and two-
stepping across the family room. Bill was the family photographer and passed down his cameras and
passion to take pictures to his daughter Vicki. The family got started in quarter midget racing in the early
70’s, Bill was a great mechanic and taught his son Rod and daughter Vicki to become great race car
drivers and how to work on their cars. His passion was instilled in Rod, who can fix and build anything
and went on to race Outlaw mini sprints. Bill and Patsy were always serving the Lord and caring for
others, when a need arose, they always stepped up…when Vicki’s friend Loraine needed a home and
guidance, they brought her into the family and loved her as their own.
Bill retired from teaching in 1989 after over 30 years of teaching. When Patsy retired in 1991, Bill and
Patsy started traveling more and focused on their new greatest love and passion, spending time with
new grandson, Loper McCune, in Oklahoma, taking him fishing, camping and traveling to family
reunions. In 2004, Bill and Patsy moved from Widefield to Goodwell, Oklahoma to be closer to their
grandson and enjoyed attending Loper’s rodeos, football and basketball games.
While in Colorado, Bill was a member of the Lion’s Club and Elks Lodge and active member of the Good
Shepard United Methodist Church. After moving to Oklahoma, Bill and Patsy joined the Victory
Memorial United Methodist Church in Guymon where Bill enjoyed being an active part of the Men’s
group and volunteering at Loaves and Fishes. Bill enjoyed watching his OSU cowboys and cowgirls in all
sporting events, he was a longtime donor and member of the OSU Alumni Association. He enjoyed
growing vegetables, feeding and watching the birds and squirrels play and wood working, making whirly
gigs and wishing wells to give away…he was still doing both until the day he passed. Bill’s favorites were
spending time with family, lots of coffee, oatmeal cookies and watching all OSU sports
Bill is survived by his wife, Patsy Dunn Ayres of the home; son, Rodney Ayres of Guymon, Oklahoma;
daughter, Vicki Ayres Portman and husband Jimbo Portman of Hooker, Oklahoma; Loraine Moffett and
husband Bob of Lake Mary, Florida; five grandchildren, Loper McCune and wife Kim Kelly of Goodwell,
Oklahoma; Haylie Eyer of Amarillo, Texas; Blayne Portman of Amarillo, Texas; John Moffett of Columbus,
Georgia, Austin Moffett of Sorrento, Florida; two great grandchildren, Tinley Lynn McCune and Carter
Moffett; sister, Oretha Lewis of Elkhart, Kansas and sister, Lucille Coleman and husband Jerry of Madill,
Oklahoma as well as many nieces, nephews, family and friends.
He was proceeded in death by his Mother, Nellie Marie Bynum Ayres; father, William Holland Ayres;
son, Greg Ayres; sister, Louise Freeman; brother, Overton Ayres; mother and father in law, Bill and Flora
Dunn and brother in law, Billy Joe Dunn.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 24 th at 11 a.m. at the Victory Memorial United
Methodist Church, 523 N. Roosevelt, Guymon, Oklahoma (Masks and social seating will be required to
help protect those at risk); graveside services will follow at 2:30 p.m. at the Dumas Cemetery, 800 block
of S. Twichelle, Dumas, Texas with Pastor David Player residing.
Visitation will be at the Henson-Novak Funeral Home in Guymon, Oklahoma Monday, November 23 rd from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Memorials can be made through Henson-Novak Funeral Home to the OSU Alumni Association for Education Scholarships in honor of Bill’s love for OSU
You can watch the service by clicking the link below
Billy Ayres Service - November 24, 2020 - Victory Memorial UMC - YouTube
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