American Veteran 01

William L. Ayers, Sr.

August 13, 1921 ~ January 20, 2022 (age 100)

Obituary Image



Charlton / Brookfield – William “Lew” Ayers, Sr. of Charlton and formerly of Brookfield, died peacefully at the Overlook Masonic Home on Thursday evening, January 20, 2022. He was born in 1921 to Orris and Florence (Hines) Ayers of West Boylston.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps driven by his desire to serve his country. He served as a Marine from 1942 to 1945 and was stationed in Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, the Marshall Islands and Oahu. He was a graduate of Wentworth College, graduating in 1948 with a degree in Machine Construction and Tool Design. Lew had a successful career starting as a draftsman at Rice Barton, a paper mill engineering company, and eventually as President for Armour/Porter Robinson Metals.

During his career, he also served as the Tax Collector for the Town of Brookfield. Lew was a Cub Scout leader, Sunday school teacher and a Master Mason with the Masonic fraternity. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening and golf.

Lew survived his wife, Phyllis May Ruggles, who he married in 1946. He is survived by his four sons, William Lewis Ayers, Jr. and his wife Doreen of Osprey, FL, David Ruggles Ayers, Paul Joseph Ayers and his wife Deborah, Robert Ray Ayers and his wife Susan, all of Brookfield. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Laura and William Lewis Ayers, III, Cathy Richard, David Ayers, Nicole Richards, Nathan Ayers, Lisa Skoczylas, Brian Ayers, Robert Ayers, Jr. and Alison Ayers, as well as his dear sister, Ruth Sis-Rawson.  Lew’s greatest enjoyment came from his eleven grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren and his great love for his family dogs. 

His family would like to thank the staff and nurses at Overlook for all of the care they provided to him over his 15 years as a resident there.  He truly lived a long and well fulfilled life during his golden years.

A Funeral Service for Lew will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 10am in the Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St., in West Brookfield.  Burial will follow in the Brookfield Cemetery.  Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 from 4 to 6pm in the funeral home.  Masks must be worn while inside.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Masonic Home Post Acute Care Center, 88 Masonic Home Road, Charlton, MA 01507 or to Second Chance Animal Shelter, 372 N. Main Street North, Brookfield, MA  01535.


An online guest book is available at 


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Calling Hours
January 25, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.
43 East Main Street
West Brookfield, MA 01585

Funeral Service
January 26, 2022

10:00 AM
Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.
43 East Main Street
West Brookfield, MA 01585

Graveside Service
January 26, 2022

11:15 AM
Brookfield Cemetery
34 West Main St.
Brookfield, MA 01506


Second Chance Animal Shelter, Inc.
372 N. Main Street, North Brookfield MA 01535
Tel: 1-508-637-1333

Masonic Home Post Acute Care Center
88 Masonic Home Road, Charlton MA 01507

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