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 Plumer Duckett Ayers

Plumer Duckett Ayers

Banks County, Georgia, USA
Death 20 May 1971 (aged 77)
Cornelia, Habersham County, Georgia, USA
Burial Demorest, Habersham County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 31204229 · View Source
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Son of James "Jim" Thomas and LaTranquil Massey Ayers. Husband of Myrtle Ann Garrison Ayers. James was the son of Thomas Allen Ayers and Precilla Carolyn Bradley. Latranquil was the daughter of James F. Massey of Banks County, Georgia and Theodocia Collins of Milam County, Texas. When Latranquil died in 1902, Mary Ward Bright Brady Ayers, second wife of Jim Ayers, raised Jim as her loving stepson. Plumer and Myrtle had children: 1. Virginia Anne, 2. Dorothy Latranquil, 3. Plumer Duckett Ayers Jr., and 4. Elizabeth "Peggy".

Plumer joined the All American Division of the American Expeditionary Force [AEF] at the outbreak of World War I, and served with honor in France, alongside such fellow division members as Sgt. Alvin York, also a member of the All American Division, comprised primarily of Appalachian and Blue Ridge soldiers. Plumer survived a sinking of his troop transport ship S.S. Tuscania by a German U boat off the coast of Ireland.

He returned to Banks County and married school teacher Myrtle Garrison, who complemented him well as soul mate. He worked for Gulf Oil in Cornelia, Georgia where he and Myrtle raised their children and guided their grandchildren. Plumer was know as a kind man with a great sense of humor, brilliant in mathematics and engineering, and craftmenship. He and Myrtle attended the Cornelia Christian Church.
.The Anderson Independent-Mail
Friday, May 21, 1971
Plumer Ayers

Cornelia, GA -- Plumer Duckett Ayers Sr., 77, of Lamar Christian Church and was a retired bookkeeper for Gulf Oil Co. in Cornelia.

Survivors: Widow, Mrs. Myrtle Garrison Ayers; one son, Plumer D. Ayers Jr. of Marietta; three daughters, Mrs. Grady Crocker of Clarkesville, Mrs. Wallace Martin of Toccoa, Mrs. Williard Riner of Milledgeville, three brothres, S. A. Ayers of Columbus, G. F. Ayers and Theo Ayers, both of Cornelia; 11 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at McGahee Funeral Home with the Revs. David Terrell and Russell Newell officiating. Burial will be in Yonah Memorial Gardens.

WWI veterans will serve as the Honorary escort.
The body is at the funeral home; the family is at the residence.
The Pinewood Derby Lesson

When I was a child, I loved to build models: ships, heroes, knights, planes, cars. I read the directions thoroughly and then used the tricks I had observed watching my mother Dot Ayers Martin, an artist as she painted and crafted. She and I together created our masterpiece, a replica of the USS Consititution, rigged perfectly with waxed string, with each tiny man painted to the last detail using a strand of hairs from a paint brush. When we brought the models to shows, we won, and people looked over at awe at the little craftsman aged 8.

So when the time came to build my Pinewood Derby racer, I used the same skills to craft a wood putty cockpit for the Indy Racer. The paint job was light blue and gold, and the contours perfectly formed rising to the cockpit. It was like no other child's racer, like no other Derby car ever seen. And so I brought it proudly to the race, and put it down, and lost the first time.

In my shame, I was determined never to fail so miserably again, and so I went to the man who could do anything, my grandfather Plumer Duckett Ayers, known to everyone as P.D. He looked at my racer, towering over the small boy from his six foot four frame, and looked down silently and told me to follow him. We went to his garage, which doubled as a workshop and started to work. He planed and sanded silently then got me to do it. Every action I imitated, from the sanding to the streamlining to the nails in the wheels greased to perfection by WD 40 oil. The paint came later, and was pretty but almost an afterthought. He said it was more important to do well than to look well.

By the time the next year came around, I brought my new gold and dark blue, streamlined racer back to the Cub Scout competition. A few boys looked over with smirks, before I sat the racer down, and let it go, not saying a word to anyone. We won the first and then the second and then the third races. We raced all night long and won every time, and eventually won the championship. I called my grandfather back in Cornelia from the Race in Toccoa, and he laughed, but had little else to say. He was a silent hero and inspiration. He taught me always to find out what I needed to know and how I needed to know it from people who knew and did things I could not. He taught me to emulate. His lessons live with me every day, as I look at that Pinewood Derby trophy I won long ago, the first of many trophies and achievements that were inspired by a simple act of silent love and dedication, from my grandfather P.D. Ayers of Cornelia.
Andrew Ayers Martin, M.D., J.D., grandson