Charles Philip Ayres was called to his heavenly home by God on 2 August 2023. He was 93 years old.
An only child, he was born in El Dorado Kansas on 19 April 1930 to Weston Philip Ayres and Doris Amelia Robinson. He tells tales of his early childhood on his grandparents’ farm; of a travel west by car to California; of playing in the school band. In 1950, During the Korean War, Phil entered service in the US Navy as an Electrician’s Mate. He served 4+ years and was assigned to the aircraft carrier, USS Leyte (CV 32). He traveled the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
After leaving the Navy, he met the love of his life, Frederica (Freddie) Vaught, on a blind date set up by her best friend, Trudy. Phil and Freddie married 15 July 1956. They lived in the Kansas City, Kansas area while Phil worked as an accountant at the Hereford Association. There, two sons were born, Mike in Sugar Creek, Missouri on 11 July 1956 and Darren in Kansas City, Kansas on 25 February 1959. In July 1970, the family moved to Mena Arkansas, Freddie’s childhood hometown. They raised chickens on a 50-acre farm and at one time had a tomato farm. Phil worked various off-the-farm jobs, including Music Minister at a couple of churches in Polk County as well as music for revivals. His last job was as an upholsterer for private jets at Rose Upholstery in Mena. He was a member of the Master Singers of Arkansas.
In 2002, Phil and Freddie moved to Arkadelphia to be closer to their son, Mike. Phil became the custodian for First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia. After retiring, he began volunteering several days a week at the church office answering phones and greeting visitors. When he finally retired for good, he enjoyed reading and watching his favorite TV shows, taking naps and singing in the church choir.
In 2006, Phil and Freddie celebrated their 50 th wedding anniversary in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church,Arkadelphia, surrounded by many family members and friends.
On 8 August 2013, Phil’s beloved wife, Freddie, was called to her heavenly home. Over the years since, while stoic, he would tell how much he missed her.
Today, while we miss him and are saddened that he is no longer here with us, we rejoice and celebrate his homegoing where he is walking with Jesus, his Savior. He is in a new body, one that works and will never break down. He can hug his precious Freddie again.
Phil is preceded in death by his parents, Weston Philip and Doris Amelia Robinson Ayres Weber Sanborn, his aunts and uncles, and the love of his life, Freddie. He is survived by his two sons, Michael Wayne and wife Lisa Love and Darren Lee and wife Patricia Mary. He has four grandchildren, Jeremy Ryan (Jennifer Marie Spera) - Tampa FL; Audra Love Strother (Jonathan) - Bismarck AR; Christopher Michael (Michelle [Alicia Sarah Michelle] Wilkins) -
Round Rock TX; and Jacob Weston - Tampa FL. He has eight great-grandchildren: Lilly Elizabeth Jamie, Avery Mae Jeanne, Sophia Hartley, Stella Jude, Weston Robert Daniel, Penny Anne Marie, Lucas Ryan, and Price Anderson Michael. He has one more great-grandchild due February 2024.
Phil was cremated and his ashes will be buried next to Freddie in the Nunley Cemetery, in Nunley Arkansas.
A visitation will be held at 9:00 a.m. Friday, August 4, 2023, at First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia with a memorial service to follow at 10:00 a.m. at the church.
Military honors will be provided by The United States Navy.
Arrangements are entrusted to Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923.