Obituary of Barbara Elaine Ayer
Barbara Elaine Ross Ayer, age 85, of Ogdensburg, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Canton United Helpers following a brief stay. She was surrounded by her loving family. A Memorial Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Ogdensburg, on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 11:00 AM, with a reception to follow at the church. Barbara was born on April 16, 1937, in the town of Horicon, NY. She lived in Brant Lake and Brookdale before moving to and graduating from Watervliet High School in 1955. She worked at Montgomery Ward as a bookkeeper before marrying Rev. Martin J. Ayer in 1958. She raised six children of her own and touched the lives of many others through foster care and her in-home daycare. She earned an Associates Degree from Empire State College in 1979 while raising children, volunteering as a Girl Scout leader, and organizing a women’s co-op. Barbara is survived by her children: Suzanne Ayer of Castleton NY, Stephen Ayer (Barbara Hibner) of Winchester MA, Michelle Ayer (Richard Cummings) of Harvard MA, Cynthia Ayer (Timothy Richards) of Ogdensburg NY, Kara Ayer of Chateaugay NY, and foster son Terry Wilson (Kathy) of Boise ID; grandchildren: Benjamin, Samuel and Olivia Ayer, Liam Cummings, Christopher, Nathan and Claire Rishe, Lucas, Jordan, Jenna and Brayden Ayer; siblings: Ruth Putney (John), Rev. Barry Ross (Dorcas), Elizabeth “Betsy” Brown (Cliff), and Vonnie Goodspeed; one great-granddaughter, a great-grandson on the way, and many beloved nieces and nephews. Barbara is predeceased by her husband of 39 years, Rev. Martin J. Ayer, her parents Mayfred and Kenneth Ross, and siblings Beverly Reed and David Ross. Barbara and her husband Rev. Martin J. Ayer lived in many communities in Northern New York. Following Martin’s death in 1997, she moved back to Ogdensburg to be close to her daughter, Cynthia. Barbara was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Ogdensburg NY. She sang in the choir and participated in Presbyterian Women’s Group. Barbara was also a member of the Ogdensburg Garden Club. Barbara was an accomplished seamstress, making dresses, children’s and doll clothes, snowsuits and cozy patchwork quilts. She enjoyed knitting mittens for her family and baby hats for hospitals. Barbara treasured time with family - sharing a good meal, talking on the phone, or visiting her children. She loved taking Jamaican vacations with her sister, Betsy. Barbara loved reading a good book with a cat on her lap, listening to NPR, and watching birds from her window. Barbara was a kind soul who will be deeply missed. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to “Women of Grace Widows’ Fund” (www.womenofgracewidowsfund.org). Arrangements are being made by Frary Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, May 21, 2022
First Presbyterian Church
423 Ford Street
Ogdensburg, New York, United States