William R. Ayres (AKA Dad, Bill, Pop, “Papa” Bill, Grandpa & Uncle Bill), 92, passed away on October 23, 2021, with his loving daughter, Donna at his side, while residing at Hillside Health & Rehabilitation Pearl Garden; his home for the past 10 months.
He was born January 12, 1929 in Savery, Wyoming, 5th of 8 children, to parents John Ayres & Veronica Anna Deien Ayres. His family moved to Corning in 1932 and homesteaded Kopta Island on the Sacramento River near Woodson Bridge where they had livestock, farmed & planted an orchard. The farm was flooded in 1937 and twice more. The family then purchased the Fox home and almond orchard. In 1944, at age 15, his father passed away with cancer. His mother stepped up to raise her eight children, living off the land, and with no help from the government.
He and his older brother John owned and operated their own saw mill in Hoopa, CA. Bill had many jobs after that, some of which include millwrighting for the Arcata Lumber Co in Arcata, CA , Georgia Pacific in Toledo, OR and the Bonner Mill. He also worked as a mechanic for Bridger Coal in Rock Springs, WY, where he retired.
Bill married Treva Bell Greathouse Tilton January 16, 1959, who had two children, Andrew and Donna. Bill immediately became Dad and loved, protected and guided HIS children throughout his life. Bill and Treva moved to Missoula in 1973 and in 1976, became members of the LDS church. After Treva’s death in 1986, Bill continued to work at Bridger Coal and also reconnected with his mother, brother, sisters and family in California. Camping, fishing, hunting, square dancing, gardening, traveling and, of course, teasing or joking with anyone around, were his favorite hobbies. Anyone who knew Bill will remember his great sense of humor.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, John and Veronica, brother John, sisters Mary, Betty, Phoebe and JoAnne, wife Treva, grandson Andy, great great grandchildren Thomas and Emmalee.
Bill is survived by sisters, Viola and Pat, son Andrew Dale (Kathy) Tilton, daughter Donna (Greg) Hamilton, grandchildren Andrina, Josh, Jessica, Errin, Holli and Kelsey, great -grandchildren Kaylee, Anthony, Audriana, Jeremy, Austin, Kaspur, Jayce, Presleigh, Audrina and Destanee and great great grandchildren Sage, Andi, Aleeah and Danika and many loving nieces and nephews, too many to name.
I want to thank all the staff at Hillside; Administration, Nurses, CNA’s and Life Enrichment, for the love, care and support they gave to him with his progressive dementia and also who became a part of Bill’s family.
Bill will be buried next to his wife, Treva, at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Graveside service is scheduled for later in November.