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Welcome to the memorial page for

Clayton "Dave" Ayres

May 12, 1939 ~ December 26, 2017 (age 78)

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Celebration of Life
December 30, 2017

1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Tree of Life Unitarian Univeralist Congregation
5603 Bull Valley Road
McHenry, IL 60050

Clayton “Dave” Ayres, 78, of Woodstock died Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at his home in Woodstock, IL, from a cardiac event.

He was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on May 12, 1939, to Paul R. and Gertrude Ingrid (Haugen) Ayres. He married Judith Ann Cole On June 11, 1958.

Dave dutifully and honorably served his country and community. He was a 20-year veteran of the US Navy and an active member of both the American Legion and the Lions Club. Dave was also a beloved and active member of the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry, IL, where he served on several committees, including chair of the Stewardship Committee, and spearheaded several church missions. And every Thursday you could find Dave communing with his weekly men’s breakfast group.

Professionally, Dave spent 18 years with Illinois Tool Works as a Human Resources Manager following his stint in the Navy.

Dave lived most of his youth in Wisconsin, including the towns of Madison, Beloit, Hayward, and Cable. His love of Wisconsin—and in particular, his love of the North Woods—stayed with him, as he and Judy 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.

Both Dave and Judy 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 Dave could be found frequenting his favorite craps tables. Every spring he and Judy spent 6 weeks in Florida.

Music was also a very important part of Dave’s life. His appreciation 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 was always looking forward to his time with them.

Dave is survived by his wife of 59 ½ loving years, Judith Ann Ayres; 4 children: Dean (Anne), Diana (Tyrone) Quinn, Donald (Alison), and Darin (Terra); 10 grandchildren: Joseph, Tim, Carolyn, Ashley, Tyler, Patrick, David, Connor, Cole and Chase; 2 great-grandchildren: Odin and Autumn; 3 sisters: Katherine (Norman) Gharrity, Susan Rosa, and Helen Fandrei, and 1 sister-in-law Connie Henry. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A celebration of Dave’s life will be held on Saturday, December 30, 2017, at 1pm at the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Church in McHenry, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Church.

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