George AYERS

November 20, 1938November 1, 2018


Born on November 20, 1938 in Quincy, IL. Passed away on Thursday, November 1, 2018 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. A resident of FL since 2016 after more than 20 years in Arlington, VA. Received a B.S. from Western Illinois University and M.A. and Ed.D. degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. Devoted his professional career of more than 50 years to the pursuit of higher education and mentoring of others through teaching, administration, college and university presidencies, and his executive search and consulting firm, Ayers & Associates, Inc. Loved playing golf, traveling, reading, and discussing current events.

Survived by his wife, Carolyn Ayers; children, Deanne Ayers-Howard (LeRoy Howard), Danita Ayers, Darryl Ayers, and Margaret Cooper; a sister, Mary Jane Ayers; a brother, David Ayers; and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, colleagues, and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers.

A memorial service will be held in the Palm Beach area in January 2019. In lieu of flowers, contributions will be accepted at a later date for a scholarship fund in his name.


  • Visitation Saturday, November 3, 2018

George AYERS

have a memory or condolence to add?

Danita Ayers

January 7, 2019

Dr. George E. Ayers Scholarship at Western Illinois University (WIU)

A memorial scholarship fund has been established at WIU. Tax deductible contributions should be sent to:
WIU Foundation
303 Sherman Hall
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
Checks should be made payable to the WIU Foundation. Please write on the memo line of your check “Dr. George E. Ayers Scholarship” to ensure proper application of your contribution.

Junior (Nate) Hawkins

November 30, 2018

I remember my Uncle George as always coming home and showing us family film on a projector of his travels; always about higher education. When he would come home to visit grandma, I was there with him to do yard work, trimming bushes, and everyday work. Say hi to my mom (Bitty) for me.

Joline Godfrey

November 25, 2018

George was the kindest and wisest mentor I had as a Kellogg Class 10 Fellow. Whatever obstacle or challenge was presented to him, his equanimity and humor whittled everything to a scale that made the most intractable issue manageable. A light dims in this part of the universe with his shine we know, in another corner, far, far at peace George. Joline Godfrey, Class 10 KNFP

Leslie Robert Fonza

November 24, 2018

Rest In Peace George,, I know you was a Man of character from way back around Quincy high school. Days I’ve heard about you throughout our life’s proud of you Brother. Iam 77 years old and live in Atlanta, Georgia now. Know your family will miss you. Be ‘Strong ‘ family. Les

Lois Margaret Nora

November 18, 2018

Dr. Ayers was one of our KNFP X mentors. He was wise, generous, and very supportive. I am very sorry for your loss.

Norris Watson

November 13, 2018

George will forever be a man with purpose, he was one who achieved in the face of many obstacle. To the family be very proud of not only his accomplishments but the character of the man. I know I will. Rest In Paradise my friend. The Watson Family .

Todd Ayers

November 13, 2018

I wish you all,love and peace at this difficult time,,,,,,,

Gods blessings to you,

Dee Ayers

November 13, 2018

We are praying for you guys!!! We love you and thank God for the legacy Uncle George leaves us! He and daddy loved each other and it showed!

Mary jane Ayers

November 13, 2018

My brother will always be in our hearts forever.
He will be greatly missed by all of us .rest in paradise brother.
Gone but never forgotten

Darryl Ayers

November 7, 2018

My father will always be remembered as an esteemed thought leader in academia and higher education who touched and positively impacted the lives of so many. He was a devoted father who provided me with invaluable opportunities and experiences to position me to be successful professionally and personally. I will always remember and cherish the times we shared together traveling around the world, attending sporting and cultural events, and playing golf. May he rest in peace...