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George Melvin Ayars
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Birth: Aug. 7, 1894
Death: Apr. 16, 1956

George grew up in the City of Grand Rapids. His earliest jobs were as a collector for Western Union Telegraph and as an office manager at the National Cash Register Co. At age 22 he and his family moved to Toledo, Ohio where he and brother Russ worked for the railroad. George suffered from an accident working for the railroad that damaged his back from which he was to suffer all his life. During his return visits to Grand Rapids he was introduced to Agnes Bosgraaf, the daughter of Dutch immigrants. Agnes had been working as a fabric sales clerk in Steketee's Department Store. George and Agnes married in Grand Rapids in the summer of 1917, both were 23 years old. They made their first home in Toledo where their first child George Melvin Ayars, Jr. was born. After George's mother, Catherine, died in 1918 they decided to return by Agnes's parents in Grand Rapids. Upon returning George hired into an employment office, which a year later he owned. In 1922 while Grand Rapids furniture was in its heyday, the Furniture Manufacturers Association engaged him to operate an employment office for their 58 member plants. This establishment was later incorporated to do hiring as the Employers Association, serving metal, rubber, textile, paper, fiber, and other companies as well. In his career, George hired over 300,000 workers in 32 year of service to Grand Rapids industry. The Board of Directors commended him upon his retirement in July 1953, saying, "The contributions of George Ayars in assisting to make Grand Rapids the unquestioned world's leader in production of high quality furniture are immeasurable. Now, be it therefore resolved that the Director of the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers Association in meeting…hereby does note in its records the foregoing expression of its appreciation of the eminent services rendered by Mr. Ayars to this Association, and to his community, and his country." Upon advice from his doctor to move from Grand Rapids lest he overwork himself, hurting his frail health, he decided to move to Los Angeles in 1954. Son, George, brother Russ and cousin Worfel were already well established in the area helping George, Agnes and younger daughter Bonnie make the move to VanNuys, a suburb of LA. George had many health concerns, one back ailment he had gotten from an accident while working on the railroad in Toledo plagued him throughout his life. George died in the hospital shortly after an operation in Hollywood, California in April 1956. His body was brought back to Grand Rapids for services where he as interred in Restlawn Cemetery next to the body of their fifth child, a stillborn. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  George Manning Ayars (1854 - 1912)
  Catherine Mary Pearce Ayars (1869 - 1918)
 
 Spouse:
  Agnes Bosgraaf Ayars (1894 - 1963)*
 
 Children:
  George Melvin Ayars (1917 - 1988)*
  John Robert Ayars (1920 - 1987)*
  Donald Bruce Ayars (1922 - 2003)*
  Betty Lou Ayars Vredevelt (1930 - 2000)*
  Baby boy Ayars (1931 - 1931)*
  Bonnie Lee Ayars (1938 - 2006)*
 
 Siblings:
  Ruth Peel Thompson (1891 - 1977)**
  George Melvin Ayars (1894 - 1956)
  John Russell Ayars (1899 - 1980)*
  Elsie Catherine Ayars Perry (1904 - 1961)*
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Rest Lawn Memorial Park
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Section 23
 
Created by: Kirk Vredevelt
Record added: May 06, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36798530
George Melvin Ayars
Added by: Kirk Vredevelt
 
George Melvin Ayars
Added by: Kirk Vredevelt
 
George Melvin Ayars
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2014
 
 
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