Bobby Jewell Ayer 91, of Calhoun, Kentucky transitioned to his forever home in heaven on September 15, 2021. The eldest of three sons, his parents, Eva May Kirtley and Adam Ward Ayer were married thirteen years before his arrival on January 6, 1930. He liked to say, “Mama and Pap thought they had a jewel so they named me Bobby Jewell.” He and his family attended church regularly at Oak Grove Methodist Church, where his father was a member, and at Pleasant Hope General Baptist Church, where his mother and her family were members. The churches had Sunday services half time on alternate Sundays so he attended both until Pleasant Hope started full time services. Bobby accepted Christ as his Savior at thirteen years of age and was baptized with his future father-in-law, Louis Jones in Jack Johnson’s pond on a cold winter day. He joined Pleasant Hope Church where he served as a deacon for forty years.
After graduating from Calhoun High School in 1948, Bobby then finished Chicago’s Coyne Electrical School in 1949. He was drafted into the U. S. Marine Corps in August 1951, where after completion of basic training he was sent to a nine-week course in cooking ranking fourth in his class. He served two years active duty as a cook at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and six years in the reserves. He was honorably discharged on August 8, 1959 with the rank of Corporal (E-4).
Bobby married Judith Anne Jones on June 25, 1955, at Pleasant Hope Church. Both of their birthdays were January 6, his 1930 and Judy’s 1938 so they celebrated together for 66 years. Bobby’s life and passion was farming—raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, cattle and hogs. Tobacco was the main cash crop for many years. He and Judy named their business Fairview Farms for the nearby Fairview School operating from late 1800's to 1945.
In 1972 he was “designated as a Master Conservationist in recognition of the love he has shown for the land by using it properly and establishing the necessary conservation practices for maintaining the fertility and increasing the productivity of his farm.” He enjoyed talking about oil wells and could spot an oil rig anywhere on the horizon. He checked the wells daily on the farm where he lived as long as he was able to do so. Bobby struggled with dementia the last few years of his life but was always loving and kind. In addition to his parents, Bobby was preceded in death by his step mother, Louise Hill Ayer and by a brother, Ranny Lee Ayer.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Judy Ayer; five children, Robert Louis Ayer (Ann Marie Austin.DVM), Anne Ayer Stenberg (John David), Jonathan Lee Ayer (Traci Lynn Leet), Amanda Jo Ayer Brooks (Stephen Timothy), and Stephen Spencer Ayer (Nicole Ruth Lee); eleven grandchildren, Jaclyn Anne Stenberg Wegley (Jacob Michael), Jordan Lee Stenberg, Adam Louis Ayer, Elizabeth Ann Ayer Roberts (Dustin Shawn), Trenton Lee Ayer, Kirstin Lynn Ayer, Heidi Jo Brooks, McKinley Anne Brooks, Bobby Spencer Ayer, Grant Louis Ayer, and Preston Cole Ayer; two step-grandchildren, Chad and Kevin Stenberg; four great grandsons, Everett Charles Wegley, Samuel David Wegley, Jace Louis Roberts, and Elijah Michael Roberts; a brother, Edward Mason “Bubby” Ayer (Lula Pearl “Sitter” Ashton Ayer); a sister-in-law, Clara Ella Settle Ayer; several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday at Pleasant Hope General Baptist Church with the Revs. Ron Hampton and Tracy Burnett officiating. Burial will be in the Pleasant Hope Cemetery in McLean County with Military Honors conducted by the McLean County Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 5415. Friends may visit with Bobby’s family from 1:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. Sunday at Muster Funeral Homes, Calhoun Chapel and from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. Monday at Pleasant Hope General Baptist Church.
Bobby’s services will be streamed live on www.musterfuneralhomes.com at 11:00 A.M. Monday.
The Bobby Jewell Ayer family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to your favorite charity in memory of Bobby.
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