GRAFTON - Linda Carol Ayres, 73, died at 9:55 a.m., Monday, January 14, 2019 at her son's home, under the care of BJC Hospice.
She was born in Alton on May 10, 1945 to the late Clarence and Cleda (Marshall) Cope.
Linda grew up on the family farm in Madison County and was a 1963 graduate of Alton High School.
She married Donald Vernon Ayres on November 14, 1964 in Jerseyville and together their 54 year marriage was blessed with three sons and many wonderful memories together as a family.
She first began her working career as a floral designer in both Jerseyville and Godfrey, until the birth of their first son. She later re-entered the work force at Jersey Community Hospital, starting as a Nurse's Aide and later holding the positions of Unit Clerk and ended her career working in Admitting in the Emergency Room, where she retired in 2007 after 28 years of service.
In her younger years, she enjoyed gardening and sewing, making clothes for several of her family and friends throughout the years.
In her later years, she enjoyed the simple things in life - surrounding herself with her family, most especially her grandchildren - and the occasional purchase on the Home Shopping Network.
Her family was truly the center of her universe, and she treasured each and every moment she spent with them all.
Surviving are her husband Donald Ayres; three sons and their spouses, Donald and Mindy Ayres Jr.; Darran and Elisa Ayres and Dwayne Ayres, all of Grafton; ten grandchildren, Nicholas, Trevor, Samantha, Tyler, Corey, Ansley, Ashley, Angela, Cassandra and Nicole; two great-grandchildren, Isaiah and Amelia; Two sisters, Dorothea (Richard) Reno of Kane and Frances Burch of Jerseyville; two sisters in-law, Marie Cope of Granite City and Betty Kelly of Alton; a brother in-law, Bill Ivester of Delhi; as well as a brother and sister in-law, Denzel and Naomi Ayres of Homosassas, FL; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Della Ivester; three brothers, Richard Cope, Rev. Alfred Eugene "Gene" Cope and Richard "Dick" Kelly; a brother in-law, Robert Burch; her mother and father in-law, Vernon and Mildred Ayres; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, January 17, 2019 at the Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville where funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m., Friday, January 18.
Burial will take place at the Noble Cemetery in Ottterville.
In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials may be given to The Shriner's.