Clayton “Dave” Ayres, 78, Woodstock, died Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, at his home from a cardiac event.
He was born May 12, 1939, to Paul R. and Gertrude Ingrid (Haugen) Ayres in Madison, WI.
On June 11, 1958, he married Judith Ann Cole.
He dutifully and honorably served his country and community. He was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and an active member of the American Legion and the Lions Club. He was also a beloved and active member of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, McHenry, where he served on several committees including chair of the Stewardship Committee and spearheaded several church missions. Every Thursday he could be found communing with his weekly men’s breakfast group.
Professionally, he spent 18 years with Illinois Tool Works as a human resources manager following his stint in the Navy.
He lived most of his youth in Wisconsin, living in Madison, Beloit, Hayward and Cable. His love of Wisconsin — particularly his love of the North Woods – stayed with him as he and his wife spent a number of years in Minocqua, first as a second home and eventually as their primary.
He loved the outdoors and was an avid fly fisherman. His favorite quarry was trout, but he was also in constant pursuit of the ever-elusive muskie. Other hobbies included photography, writing, fly-tying, solving Sudoku puzzles, designing and building A/V speaker enclosures and woodworking. He enjoyed the occasional round of golf, bowling and throwing darts.
He and his wife loved to travel locally and abroad. Most recently they explored by car several national parks throughout the northern Rockies, toured Prague and Vienna and cruised to Alaska. One of their favorite destinations was Las Vegas, where it was rumored he could be found frequenting his favorite craps tables. Every spring, they spent six weeks in Florida.
Music was also a very important part of Dave’s life. His appreciation for music had no bounds, as it spanned from classical to bluegrass. He even took an interest in playing instruments, as he played trombone in high school and dabbled with the banjo, recorder and harmonica.
Most important to Dave was family. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He doted on his grandchildren and looked forward to time with them.
Survivors include his wife; four children, Dean (Anne), Diana (Tyrone) Quinn, Donald (Alison), and Darin (Terra); 10 grandchildren, Joseph, Tim, Carolyn, Ashley, Tyler, Patrick, David, Connor, Cole and Chase; two great-grandchildren, Odin and Autumn; three sisters, Katherine (Norman) Gharrity, Susan Rosa and Helen Fandrei; and a sister-in-law, Connie Henry.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A celebration of life was held Dec. 30 at Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Church, McHenry.
Donations may be made to the church.
Arrangements were made by Schneider, Leucht, Cooney & Merwin Funeral Home, Woodstock.