John Robert (Bob) Ayers reflected back on his decision to retire from Banking many times over the past years. He wasn’t so fond of all of the new federal regulations being forced into the banking industry and onto his customers at the time of his departure; however he loved just about everything else about Banking.
In the Eastern Panhandle of WV, where most all local Banks have been consolidated into larger financial institutions, CNB has remained a local “Hometown Bank”, due in significant part to the time-honored groundwork of Mr. J. Robert Ayers.
Encircled by his loving family, Mr. Ayers, a diligent contributor to the Berkeley Springs community, passed in peace, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at the age of 83.
Mr. Ayers, born in Berkeley Springs on March 21, 1929, is a graduate of Berkeley Springs High School. His father, John B. Ayers, moved to this area for work in surveying, and later proprietor of Ayers Grocery, and retired from Bath Candy Company. Mother Velma L. Ayers was a loving and admired homemaker.
Citizens National Bank welcomed Bob Ayers in 1947 as a book-keeper under the supervision of Mr. Jack Proctor, the first President of the Bank. Then in 1950, during the Korean War, Bob decided to leave banking and join the United States Army. Upon his return to the Berkeley Springs area in 1953, he was welcomed back into employment at the same local bank as a Clerk-Teller. After working all significant areas of the bank, Mr. Ayers was named President of Citizens National Bank in 1977, just after the retirement of Burton English. During his years at the Bank, he met and assisted customers with utmost respect, while doing everything he could to assist them through their financial concerns and needs. He also spent tireless hours helping local institutions, including Morgan County Schools, and various new small business owners to obtain necessary financial assistance to excel within the community.
Bob retired as Citizens National Bank President on March 7, 1991. He served on the Citizens National Bank (CNB) Board of Directors from 1974 up to his death.
When Mr. Ayers did take a break from the rigors of the Bank, he enjoyed contributing his time and talent to local community establishments and organizations including, member and past Treasurer of First United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs, long-time member and past President of; the Berkeley Springs Lions Club, the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, and Morgan County Economic Development Authority. Mr. Ayers was selected and served as a Board of Director for local business industry U.S. Silica Company during the company’s reign by U.S. Borax. Additionally, very close to heart in Bob’s younger years, as well as up to the time of his death, the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company #1, where he contributed many years as the organization’s Treasurer and was appointed as a life-time member.
Bob’s most notable talent was that of being best friend and dearly loved husband to his wife of 58 years, Sue Anne Deneen Ayers. And, loving, devoted father of son Mark Deneen and daughter Barbara Ann. He was also blessed with and very proud of two loving grandsons, Kyle Deneen Ayers and Collin Matthew Ayers.
In addition to his parents, Bob was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Jean.
Never meeting a stranger, Mr. Ayers touched the lives of many and will be sincerely missed as we celebrate and admire his life and contributions on this earth and to the small town of Berkeley Springs, WV.
Cremation arrangements are being handled by Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.helsleyjohnsonfh.com
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Berkeley Springs Volunteer Company, 34 Mercer Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 or Hospice of the Panhandle, 122 Waverly Court, Martinsburg, WV 25403.