Ellen Theldarue “Rue” Ayers, 79, of the Quebec community, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Sunday night, April 7th, 2019.
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She was born on July 6th, 1939, in Chattanooga, Tennessee and she was the eldest of eight children of Bill and Edna Farmer Hawkins. Rue’s family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a mutual friend introduced her to Earl Ayers, a young man fresh out of the army who became a regular customer at her soda fountain counter, and soon her husband–to-be. They married on May 19th 1957, and eventually moved back to Earl’s native Transylvania County, NC. They resided in several locations in the county before 1978, when they built a home on Old Quebec Road in the Quebec Community.
Rue was a long time employee of American Thread in Rosman before becoming known as one of the finest cooks in the area, working at the Family Kitchen and Toxaway Deli, as well as Micah’s in neighboring Jackson County where she became known as “Maw” to many who regularly ate her food. She made chili for years for Rosman High and Youth football games and for Quebec Community Center bingos, and folks travelled considerable distances to buy hot dogs for a taste of that chili. She was also renowned for her cakes, which she sold to an area restaurant. Working and raising seven children seems more than most could handle but not Rue, she volunteered for twenty years for the Rosman Rescue Auxiliary. Rue only went to the eighth grade while growing up but decided to continue her education when her children were through with high school. She attended classes and then received her GED. In order to save money she made most of the clothes her children wore while they were small.
She loved to read, particularly her Bible and books about the Amish. Rue also enjoyed crocheting, especially baby blankets for all the many grandchildren and great- grandchildren she was blessed with. But her favorite pastime was playing bingo. She rarely missed a Saturday night game until her health made it impossible for her to attend. In her early years she grew beautiful flowers in her garden and later in life had many plants decorating her home.
Far surpassing her other interests was her love of family. She and Earl raised seven children, as close knit a family as you’ll ever find. That love and closeness enveloped the many grandchildren and great- grandchildren that followed, and those who married into the family were immediately made true sons and daughters as well. Known as “Mamaw Rue” to practically all of Quebec, that love also extended to the many neighborhood youngsters who found a home away from home in the Ayers’ household.
In addition to her parents, Rue was preceded in death by her loving husband of 56 years, a union that is now a reunion in heaven and she is now also reunited with her beloved daughter Ellen Goulet and with her brothers Billy, Jerry Wayne, and David Hawkins. She is survived by her sisters Nadine Brockman, Barbara Byrd, and Clorinda Gerashimchik, all of Alabama, and one brother, Kenny and wife Amy Hawkins of Florida. She was surrounded by her surviving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; son Andy and daughter Vickie who lived with her, daughter Rosetta and husband Ronnie Chapman of Quebec, daughter Rachel and husband Gary Phillips of Tuckasegee, son Rocky and wife Cindy Ayers of Balsam Grove, daughter Nancy and husband Tom Sweet of Penrose. Her grandchildren are Nathan, wife Amanda Bell Chapman of Sylva, Cole, wife Laura Miller Chapman of Quebec, and Reid, wife Amanda Huggins Chapman of Old Toxaway, Will Goulet, fiancé Danielle Raines of Sapphire, Daniel, wife Dana Boley Goulet of Sapphire, Creid, wife Alyssa Ayers of Sylva, Cassidy Ayers of Balsam Grove, Clay Sweet of Montana, Zeb Sweet of Penrose, Amy, husband Jimmy Briggs of Brevard, Shannon, wife Kimberly Phillips of Brevard. Her great-grand children are Hayden, Garret, and Brodie Chapman, Annabella Chapman, Hallie and Jasper Chapman, Liam and Tytus Goulet, Lexie Cochran, Gracie Briggs, and Shantel Norman, Ethan, Isaiah, and Aliya Phillips. Her great-great grandchildren are Easton Ayers and Emberlyn Cochran. She was well loved by her extended family of brother and sister in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Rue was a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother, and a friend to so many. Her favorite time of the year was Christmas and her family and friends enjoyed her annual Christmas party with her delicious fudge. She was a member of Oak Baptist Church in Quebec and attended faithfully until her health prevented her from going. She will be missed by all who loved her.
The family will receive friends and family at Moody-Connolly Funeral Home on April 12, 2019 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and the service will be held at 1 p.m. in the chapel with Reverend Steve Boley officiating. Music will be provided by Jacob Crabtree. Burial will be at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens following the service.
Please join the family after the graveside service at the Fish Camp for a meal and fellowship.
Flowers are appreciated or, if you prefer, donations may be sent to Oak Grove Baptist Church Youth Fund, 649 Kim Miller Rd., Lake Toxaway, NC 28747.
On line condolences may be left at www.moodyconnollyfuneralhome.
Moody-Connolly Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.