James L. Ayers, 99, of Sun City West, AZ, formerly of Champaign, Illinois passed away on Thursday, February 9 at The Hospice of the Valley care center in AZ.
He was born March 18, 1923 in Champaign to John D. Ayers and Pearl Bray.
He graduated from Champaign High School and went to work at Jos. Kuhn and company where he met the love of his life June Davidson. She preceded him in death December 20, 2012.
He retired from Kuhn’s after 40 years at which time he moved to Sun City West where he worked at Joe Gold’s menswear store. Upon their closing he went to work at the Sun City West Foundation where he retired again at 92.
When in Champaign, He was a member of the Exchange Club, and the First Christian Church where he was an Elder.
He loved to fish, golf and play bridge with their group of friends.
Survivors are his children James M. Ayers, of Sun City West, Az., Pamela (Bryan) Rittmiller of Fairview Heights, IL., and Janice (Joe) Wells of Champaign, IL.
He is also survived by his Brother John E. Ayers of Mahomet, IL., Nephew John Ayers Jr., 5 Grandchildren, and 16 Great Grandchildren
He was preceded in death by his parents, Step-Father William Matteson, Brother Villard Ayers, niece Debbie Woodworth, and one nephew Tony Ayers.
Jim served in the U.S. Army, Company A, 173rd Infantry Battalion, 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion Div., & 14th Armored Division during WWII. Among several campaign awards, Jim was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, a Bronze Star on Feb 4, 1944 for exemplary conduct in ground combat against the enemy during the Rhineland Campaign, in the European Theater of Operations. Jim was also a Prisoner of War in Germany where he was awarded two Purple Hearts for injuries sustained in battle. During his time in the 14th Armored Division, Jim's unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, which is the equivalent to a Congressional Medal of Honor and two Distinguished Unit Citations.
A graveside service will be at Grandview Memorial Gardens on Thursday February 23 at 11:00 a.m. There will be no visitation. Military rites will be accorded by VFW Post #5520 and the Decatur National Guard.
Memorials can be made to Sun City West Christian Church, 20803 N. 151 Ave., Sun City West, AZ 85375
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