Obituary for Barbara Ann Ayer
Barbara Ann Ayer, 66, died Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at her home in Athens, Georgia. A beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, teacher and friend, she was surrounded by family as she passed on to be with her Lord and Savior in Heaven.
A native of Buffalo, NY, she is the daughter of the late Michael and Helen (Halady) Dzielski. Barbara received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from State University College of Buffalo and a M.S. in Education from Nazareth College. One evening, while hanging out at the "Brick Bar," Barbara was introduced to the young man, and former neighborhood paperboy, who would be her lifelong partner: Gary Michael Ayer. Together, they would move to Sodus, NY, Bath, NY, Rochester, NY and finally Athens, GA. While in NY, they would raise three children together: Rebecca, Robert and Gary.
Later in life, Barbara completed an M.S. in Theology and Pastoral Studies from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. For 12 years, she directed religious education studies at St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Bath, NY. In 2010, she retired from Nazareth Academy in Rochester, NY, where she taught theology.
Barbara was the foundation of the Ayer household; she stressed education and good character. Deeply spiritual and religious, she was a moral compass for her children and confidant for her siblings, children, nieces and nephews. Her sympathy, advice, and conversation will be forever missed. Her guidance, selfless attitude, and love for her family helped those who knew her sort through many of their personal battles. However, when breast cancer appeared, it was one battle that could not be won. Barbara's life work was her children, and she made many sacrifices so that their lives would be better than her own.
Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Gary Michael Ayer of Athens; children: Rebecca (Thomas Breland) Ayer of Athens, GA, Robert (Nazanin Jafarian) Ayer of Suwanee, GA, and Gary (Tonya) Ayer, II of Miami, FL; siblings: Michael Dzielski of Staten Island, NY, Theresa Petrik of Buffalo, NY, Anthony (Terry) Dzielski of Vero Beach, FL; and two grandchildren: Kiyan Ayer and Cyrus Ayer.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 from 5 to 8 p.m. with prayers and remarks of remembrance beginning at 6:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia.
Lord & Stephens East is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com