|Birth: ||Dec. 12, 1940|
|Death: ||Jan. 8, 2006|
Fort Benton native Clifford Eugene Ayers died peacefully of natural causes late Sunday evening, Jan. 8, 2006, in Peace Hospice in Great Falls.
A father of two, Cliff was an orderly at Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs, lifeguard at Gregson Hot Springs, served in the Army, worked for John Deere in Fort Benton and Conrad, at the Great Falls smelter, and was a police officer in Great Falls.
Memorial services are under the direction of Benton Funeral Home and will take place at 1 p.m. Friday in Fort Benton Methodist Church. A graveside ceremony at Fort Benton Cemetery will follow.
Published in The Montana Standard on 1/11/2006.
Clifford Eugene Ayers, age 65, died peacefully of natural causes late Sunday evening at Peace Hospice in Great Falls. ( Heart Failure / Kidney Failure) Memorial services are under the direction of the Benton Funeral Home and will take place at the Fort Benton Methodist Church on Friday, January 13, at 1 p.m. A graveside ceremony at the Fort Benton Cemetery will follow. Cliff was born on Thursday, December 12, 1940, at 3:30 p.m. in Fort Benton, Montana, the first child to Hilda Gwendolyn (Archer) and Alva Eugene Ayers. His proud grandparents were Faye (Scott) and Neal J. Archer, as well as Florence (Allison) and Alva J. Ayers. Both his parents and grandparents preceded him in death. On November 15, 1941, the family moved to Des Moines, Washington, where Alva worked for Boeing, manufacturing military aircraft during World War II. They returned to Fort Benton on September 25, 1945, and Cliff started school there on September 2, 1947. Cliff was made a big brother twice by the addition of Terry in 1949 and Nancy in 1955. Much of Cliff's childhood was spent combing the hills and river valley surrounding Fort Benton for hours on end. His passions were hunting, fishing, hiking, and reading. Cliff graduated from Fort Benton High School in 1959 and then briefly attended Western Montana College in Dillon. He then went to work for Warm Springs State Hospital as an orderly and then Grayson Hot Springs as a lifeguard. There he met Coralee Rogers, and they were married on December 20, 1962. Cliff joined the U. S. Army and left for basic training in January of 1963, with an initial deployment to Wiesbaden, Germany. Cliff was later stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and later transferred to the U. S. Army Reserve, returning to Montana in February of 1965. He was honorably discharged from service on December 31, 1967, with a full separation date of January 10, 1968, at the rank of E4. When Cliff and Coralee moved back to Montana, Cliff worked for John Deere in both Fort Benton and Conrad. They welcomed their first child, Lori Ann, in 1965, and moved to Great Falls, where Cliff worked at the Anaconda Smelter. Cliff was appointed a City of Great Falls Police Officer on February 13, 1967, sworn in by then Chief Clayton Bain. Also in 1967, Cliff and Coralee welcomed their second child, Neal Scott, with whom Cliff spent many hours camping, fishing, hunting, and simply being a dad. On March 14, 1974, while on routine police patrol, Cliff's quick response and action resulted in his saving the life of a young boy, Alan Miler, Jr., for which he was awarded a commendation from the National Red Cross on March 27, 1974. Cliff and Coralee were divorced in 1981, and Cliff married Adele Borchardt in 1982. During his spare time, Cliff became a member of MENSA. He also continued to be an avid reader, took up working with computers, and enjoyed spending time with his several house cats. Cliff retired after more than twenty years of service from the Great Falls Police Department on February 28, 1987, at the rank of Master Patrol Officer, badge number 24. During his career, Cliff attained his basic, intermediate, and advanced certificates from the Police Officers' Standards and Training Council, was an expert marksman, and completed courses at the College of Great Falls. Upon his retirement, the City of Great Falls passed a resolution of commendation, signed by the mayor and city council members on March 10, 1987. Cliff was made a proud grandparent with the birth of Jacob in 1994, Ashli in 1995, and Nicholas in 1996. Cliff and Adele were divorced in 1997, and Cliff moved to Fort Benton in 1998. Cliff was yet again a proud grandparent in 1999, with the birth of Megan. Cliff doted on and spent many hours with his grandchildren, taking them fishing, exploring, rock hunting, shooting, to Bingo games, to dinner, and to ice cream. He reveled in being called, "Granddad," and took great pride in his grandchildren's accomplishments, attending many of their school functions, birthdays, and holiday celebrations. While he no longer had the company of his house cats, Cliff had recently acquired a new companion, his dog Skipper. Skipper has now made his new home with Cliff's Daughter Lori. Cliff was deeply loved and was a wonderful brother, dad, and granddad. His presence, support, and advice will be sorely missed by all who were close to him. Though his passing creates a huge void for us to fill, we celebrate his love, friendship, life, and accomplishments, as well as many memories of happy times past. Survivors include his daughter Lori Ann Walker, her fiancÚ Tom Swingle, and granddaughter Ashli Walker of Great Falls; son Scott Ayers, his wife Monica Ayers, grandsons Jacob and Nicholas Ayers, and granddaughter Megan Ayers, all of Billings; sister Nancy Heydon, her husband Dave Heydon, niece Rebecca Mertz, all of Great Falls, and nephew Jon Mertz of Loma; brother Terry Ayers, his wife Sarah Ayers, and nephew Robert Ayers of Nampa, Idaho; and uncle Dugan Ayers, first cousin Jim Ayers and his wife Pat Ayers, all of Fort Benton. In addition, there are numerous other extended relatives of the Ayers, Archer, Scott, and Allison families, as well as many friends. Our thanks go out to the staff of Benefis Hospital and Peace Hospice for their kind and considerate care of Cliff in his final weeks and days. Memorials are suggested to the Dedman Foundation in Fort Benton, Peace Hospice in Great Falls, or the American Heart Association. Cliff's granddaughter, Ashli Walker, will be participating in the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart in March in his honor. Donations may be made out to the American Heart Association and sent to: Ashli Walker, c/o Lincoln Elementary School, 624 27th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.
Maintained by: jacob ayers
Originally Created by: A Marine's Daughter
Record added: Jan 11, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 12953999