Charles Winfred Ayers was born on Dec. 8, 1918, in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to Julia Cowart Ayers and Kay Burton Ayers. He was the sixth of ten children. He died at home peacefully Saturday at age 96, surrounded by his family.
Charles enlisted in the Army Air Corp at Brooks Field where he became an aircraft mechanic. In 1942, he met his future wife, Ernestine Barnard, on a do
uble date while stationed in Lubbock, Texas.
They were married in January 1943. In 1947, they had their first child, Charla, while stationed in Bryan, Texas, before moving to Itazuke AFB (Japan) where their second child, Thomas, was born in 1950. Their third child, Deborah, was born while at Goddard AFB (Kentucky) in 1953, and their fourth child, Tina, at England AFB (Louisiana) in 1957.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1963 at Kirkland AFB in New Mexico, Charles moved the family to Austin, and opened Ayers Auto Repair; he loved working on engines and could fix anything on wheels. Charles and Ernestine bought land in Bastrop County where he built an underground house after seeing an article in Popular Science.
He loved watermelons, hot sauce, dogs, tractors, fishing, gardening and being a mechanic and continued to change his own oil well into his nineties.
He is survived by Ernestine, his wife of 72 years; his sister, Lubie Moss of McGregor; four children, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were held at Jeffrey Cemetery in McMahan, Texas, on Wednesday, May 13 at 2 p.m.
Arrangements under the care of Eeds Funeral Home, 408 S. Main St, Lockhart, Texas (512) 398-2343.