Ernestine B. Ayers
Ernestine B. Ayers was born the third of four children on September 30, 1922, to Thomas Jefferson Barnard and Eva Lena Gibson Barnard in Frederick, Oklahoma. Her father
sharecropped, grew corn, picked cotton, and tended livestock. During the Great Depression,
the family moved to the Lubbock, Texas area where Ernestine graduated in 1939 from Anton High School as the class valedictorian. She attended beauty school and worked with her older sister, Earlene, as a hairdresser.
On January 6, 1943, Ernestine married the love of her life, Charles W. Ayers, a U.S. Army Air Corp aircraft mechanic stationed at Reese Field. In 1944 they moved to Bryan, Texas and were stationed at Bryan Army Air Field. She gave birth to their first child, daughter Charla, in March 1947. In 1949 Charles was transferred to Itazuke Air Force Base in Japan as part of the occupation forces. Their only son, Thomas, was born in July 1950 during the start of the Korean War. A second daughter, Debbie, was born in January 1953 in Kentucky. Their third daughter, Tina, was born in December 1957 in Louisiana. Charles retired from the U. S. Air Force in 1963 while the family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Shortly after retirement, the family moved to Austin, Texas where Charles worked as an auto mechanic. Ernestine went to nursing school, became an LVN, and worked at Brackenridge Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit and the Coronary Care Unit. In the mid-1980s, Ernestine and Charles bought a small farm in Bastrop County where they grew vegetables, watermelons, and cantaloupes. They kept a menagerie of farm animals for their adoring grandchildren, including geese, barn cats, dogs, and horse named Darling Clementine. Ernestine loved to sew, tend her garden, and cultivate exotic plants. She was a devoted member of the Primitive Baptist Church and enjoyed the fellowship, teachings of the gospel, and would read every word in the Banner of Love.
Ernestine went to meet her Lord on December 11, 2021 at 11:20pm. She joins her husband of 72 years, Charles, her second daughter Debbie, and her first grandchild, Kenneth, in heaven. Her remaining family – oldest daughter Charla, son Thomas (daughter in law Jan), daughter Tina (son in law Randy), eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren – will cherish memories of her adorable laugh, wonderful cooking and baking, and folksy sayings.
Funeral Service will be held Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church
5544 FM 713
McMahan, TX 78644