Mr. Prentiss James Ayres Jr., Eastern Shore stock car driver, avid Dallas Cowboys and NASCAR fan, and resident of Bloxom, passed away Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, at the age of 79. His loving wife and son were at his side.
Junior drove the #44 Pontiac stock car in his younger years at A&N Speedway. He rarely lost, as showcased by the innumerable trophies lining the wall of his favorite spot: his garage. He was a skilled mechanic and worked for Parks Motors for 30 years on semis then Atlantic Tractor for 16 years, where he cemented his adoration for all things John Deere. Recently he established his rank as the undisputed lawn mower-fixer for the Upper Shore, as he almost always had someone’s grass cutter in his garage for a tune-up. Most importantly, some of his favorite times were spent in that garage with his best friend, Tommy Owens, on Saturday afternoons.
He also enjoyed fishing, playing softball, and traveling with his beloved Linda. He was almost always outside, to include sitting on the back-porch swing in the heat of the summer with her, watching her watch the hummingbirds. Junior was also a former member of the Parksley Volunteer Fire Company, proudly served in the U.S. National Guard for 14 years and was a longtime devoted member of St. Thomas United Methodist Church, where he served on several committees and selflessly gave his time.
His quick wit and dry sense of humor rarely went unnoticed, but almost always unmatched. He loved his family and cherished every moment spent with them, all while giving them a hard time about it.
Born May 11, 1941, in Gargatha, and reared in Hopeton, he was the son of the late Prentiss James Ayres Sr. and the late Lelia Mall Taylor Ayres. Junior is survived by his wife and best buddy of 47 years, Linda Taylor Ayres; son, Bobby Lee Ayres, and his wife, Jennifer, of Las Vegas, Nev.; brother, Kenneth “Kenny” Ayres, and his wife, Beverly, of Bloxom; sister, June Faye Thornes, of Bloxom; grandchildren, James C. Ayres and his wife, Sheri, and Jennifer L. Ayres, all of Las Vegas; great-grandchildren, Samuel James Ayres, Olivia Leigh Ayres, and Kaesynn Rhea Lewis; nephews, Larry Wayne Hart and wife, Pam, and Kenneth “Ken” Ayres and wife, Nicole, and Douglas Thornes; nieces, Candace “Candy” Parks and husband, Ray, and son, Caleb, and Lynn Gagliardi and husband, Vince, and their children, Alisha and Samantha; great-nephew, Will Hart, and wife, Caitlin, and their son, Tucker; and the congregation of St. Thomas United Methodist Church, who were his extended family. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters, Dorothy Taylor and her husband, Tommy, and Jeanette Thornes, and her husband, Johnny; and a brother-in-law, Herbert Thornes.
A funeral service was conducted from the chapel of the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, with George Fulk and the Rev. William Sloan officiating. Interment was held in the Parksley Cemetery.
Contributions in Junior’s memory may be made to St. Thomas United Methodist Church, 25460 Shoremain Drive, Bloxom, VA 23308.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.