Merle L. Ayres, 88, of Bulger, Smith Township, passed away on October 26, 2022.
Mr. Ayres was born on October 6, 1934, in McDonald, a son of the late Harry and Ruby (Longstreth) Ayres.
Merle was a retired foreman for J&L Steel and LTV Steel, where he worked for over 42 years. Before working Merle graduated for McDonald High School, class of 1954. High school is where his true love of sports began. Merle was obsessed with all sports but especially football and baseball. No matter what was happening throughout the day, Merle never missed a chance to watch a game. Even when his Pittsburgh sports team were not playing their best, Merle watched with dedication and pride.
His love for sports didn’t just stop with watching them, no Merle played and coached as well. In his younger years, Merle was a youth football coach for Burgettstown School District. Where he also served as a former member of the Burgettstown School Board for 25 years. He also enjoyed playing softball for his local teams like, Langeloth and Bulger.
Merle was a simple man truly, he enjoyed his vacations to the beach and his time in the sun and especially his cars. His meticulous manner shined through when you would see his cars. Merle loved his Cadillac’s and kept them as if they had just come off the lot.
More than anything, Merle was a family man. The dedication he had to them superseded any sports team. He and his loving wife of 65 years, Leoma, raised a beautiful and hardworking family together. Merle was so proud of all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and the lives that they had made for themselves. Merle and his wife taught their children the value of hard work, as Merle and his wife would spend three weeks setting up their Christmas decorations. Their house was always decorated to the nines and it always required extra hands. The love and laughter that was shared in the presence of Merle is something that his family and friends will cherish forever now.
Surviving is his loving wife, Leoma (Prata) Ayres, children; Merle (Sherry) Ayres, Robbi (Bobby) Dowler and Mitchell (Sherri) Ayres, grandchildren; Anjelica (Anthony Martin) Ayres, Brianna Ayres, Aubrey (Alex Endler) Ayres, Robert (Marsha) Dowler, Nicole (Sean) Heran, Jeremy (Terri Whitefield) Dowler, Jill Lugaila and Lori Larmarca, several great grandchildren and sister, Alice Oblock.
Along with his parents, Merle is preceded in death by his brother, Harry Ayres and great granddaughter Avyn Ruby Martin.
Friends and family will be received on Sunday, October 30, 2022 from 1-5 p.m. at Thomas-Little Funeral Service, Inc., 314 W. Lincoln Ave., McDonald (724-926-2800). A service will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 5 p.m. in the funeral home.