Cover photo for Frank Ayres's Obituary
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1934 Frank 2023

Frank Ayres

April 6, 1934 — November 11, 2023

Frank Ayres passed away on November 11, 2023, in hospice care near his home in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife of 53 years, Valerie, by his side. He was 89.

Born Francisco Ayres, Jr. on April 6, 1934, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Frank was raised by Portuguese immigrant parents in nearby Acushnet. At the age of 18, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he served in Maine during the Korean Conflict. After his discharge from the Air Force, Frank alternated between Massachusetts, where he pursued his education, and southern California, where he worked in construction in the San Diego area. In 1959, Frank signed on with IBM and returned to Boston. Over the next 31 years, Frank held a number of positions of increasing responsibility as a sales manager in IBM offices in Boston, New Jersey, Colorado, and Connecticut, winning numerous awards and deep respect from his colleagues. After retiring early from IBM in 1990, Frank moved his family to Florida, where he was a successful real estate agent, before fully retiring and moving to Greenville in 2009.

Among Frank’s defining traits was curiosity. He routinely found the underrated restaurant in the off-track town, secured tickets to traveling shows and detoured on long family road trips to explore a unique attraction. He was a former football player who loved basketball and baseball, but taught himself soccer in order to coach what would become, perennially, one of the most dominant youth teams in the state of Connecticut (Go, Strikers)! And there wasn’t a multi-level marketing scheme that he didn’t chase all the way to its core before realizing it wasn’t “the one.” A born salesman, he was always a sucker for a good sales pitch – out of respect for the craft. He could lead a group of adults or children with equal aplomb, motivating each to achieve success all while inspiring laughter. It was this balance of levity and mission that allowed him to thrive in all settings - critical business dealings, coaching youth sports, teaching English as a second language, and delivering Sunday school or Bible study lessons – always ready with a smile.

Frank’s life was anchored to his relationship with God and to what God’s son, Jesus, has done in dying for our sins and rising again from the dead. Church worship was very important to him and he found great comfort in the Bible. In his final week, he is recorded singing his favorite hymns with his fist pumping in the air for emphasis and his voice loudly ringing out through the hospital hallway for all to hear. He also quoted Scripture from memory even though he was battling the final stages of dementia, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16.

Frank was predeceased by his parents, Francisco Cezar Ayres and Laura Medeiros Ayres, and four siblings - half-sister Dorothy Portas Morin, half-brother Manuel Antone Portas, Jr, older brother Louis Ayres, and younger sister Dolores Ayres Blaise. He is survived by his wife, Valerie Nash Ayres; his youngest sister, Inez Ayres; his sons, Michael Ayres (wife Edith) and Timothy Ayres (wife Lisa); his daughter, Lisa Ayres Loney (husband Bryan); his grandson, Michael Ayres, Jr., and granddaughters, Mya and Morgan Loney; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
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