Mary Miller Talley Ayers, 94, passed away March 12, 2020. Born June 23, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Thurman and Lucy Miller Talley.
Mary Miller graduated from Whitesburg High School as salutatorian of the Class of 1943. She also was a graduate of the Greeneville School of Commerce.
For 16 years, she was secretary and bookkeeper for the Superintendent of Schools, the Hamblen County Board of Education, and the Hamblen County Courthouse.
Mary Miller and John Lyman Ayers were married at St. Paul United Presbyterian Church manse by the Rev. George O. Williams on July 29, 1950. They were the parents of two sons, John and Malcolm Ayers.
Lyman and Mary Miller were farmers on the Nolichucky River for 63 years on a Tennessee Department of Agriculture Bi-Century Farm with 200 years of continuous agriculture production. The Ayers Family farmed there for six generations.
An active member of St. Paul Presbyterian Church, she served on the Board of Trustees, was treasurer, was an Elder, and served as Clerk of the Session for 42 years, the longest tenure in the Holston Presbytery. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, was a member of the Presbyterian Women’s Organization, the Priscilla Smith Circle, and she represented the church at meetings of the Holston Presbytery.
Mary Miller was a member of the Samuel Doak Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, a former member of the Hamblen County Genealogical Society, and served as a volunteer for the Hamblen County American Red Cross for 25 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and three brothers, Thomas, Olen, and Robert Talley.
She is survived by her sons and their wives, John Ayers and Teresa Bateman Ayers, and Malcolm Ayers and Lisa Brooks Ayers; granddaughter, Elizabeth Ayers Neill and her husband, Robert Neill; great-grandson, Jackson Neill, all of Morristown; nieces and nephews, Roger and Kirk Talley, Diane Talley Lunsford, Pat and Mike Talley, Wayne Talley, Shirley Talley Smith, Tom, Lynn, and David Ayers.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at St. Paul Presbyterian Church. The funeral will follow with the Rev. Diana Moore, former pastor, and Rev. Don Garner, officiating.
Burial will be in St. Paul Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Jackson Neill, Robert Neill, Bobby Chambers, Tyler Gilbert, Daniel Ayers, and Tim Bacon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Paul Presbyterian Church or a charity of choice.
The family would like to thank Holly Murphy and her sitters, Missy Dunn, Terri Hopkins, Felisha Murphy, Haleigh Denton, Brittany McFall, Amanda Milton, Debbie Allison, Gail Beasley, and Julie Raleigh.
Special thanks to Caris Hospice, the staff of Regency Retirement Village, and Dr. Rajeev Gupta.
Arrangements by Stetzer-Bales Funeral Home of Morristown.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Miller (Talley) Ayers, please visit our floral store.