Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

J. Merritt Ayers, 89, Orange

J. Merritt Ayers, 89, of Orange, Texas, passed away on August 13, 2023, surrounded by loved ones in Orange, Texas.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 16, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Officiating will be Reverend Lynn Ashcraft. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in Orange. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 16, 2023, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, on August 19, 1933, he was the son of Russel Nathaniel Ayers and Hattie Eudaley Ayers. Jay was well known and respected in his field, having worked as an Allstate Agent for nearly 50 years before retiring, becoming the number one Allstate Agent in Texas for several years.

He spent much of his time in the Allstate office working with his beloved first wife, Jean, whom he was married to for 44 years before her passing. Jay had many admirable qualities, one being his work ethic, often holding multiple jobs at a time in his younger years.

He was also admired for his remarkable memory, especially with important dates, and how he always kept track of how many days he and his wife, Judy, had been together.

He also had a habit of telling his daughters they were beautiful; they could count on that every time they saw him. Jay had many loves, including his Harley, hot air balloons, airplanes, his horse, and his dogs. In his free time, he enjoyed traveling all over in his motorhome, riding around on his Texas A&M golf cart, and going out on his pontoon boat to be on the water. He also enjoyed listening to piano music, watching sports (but only if they included a ball), and eating anything sweet, especially a slice of strawberry pie from Lucy’s. Jay was appreciated greatly for his sense of humor, always offering the perfect one-liner for any situation.

He was known as a sweet and kind soul and loved for how he was always appreciative of others, even on bad days.

Jay was an incredible husband, father, and grandfather and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Russel and Hattie Ayers; his beloved first wife, Jean Haas Ayers; and his grandson, Stephen Bull, Jr.

Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 26 years, Judy Ayers; his children, Debbie Ayers Bull (Stephen), Jerri Ayers Hastings (Mark), Cynthia Latiolais Teran (R.T.), and Monty Latiolais (Karen Danziger); his grandchildren, David Hastings (Allison), Jason Bull, Laura Hastings DeJesus (John)


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