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Fred Ayres

Rickey Stokes

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Posted by: RStokes
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Date: Oct 26 2023 9:55 PM

Fred Ayres Obituary



Fred Patterson Ayres passed away on October 6, 2023. Fred was born in Dothan, Alabama on December 10, 1930.


His parents who succeeded him in death were John D Ayres and Lorene Patterson Ayres and a brother, John D Ayres, Jr.


He is survived by his wife, Carol York Ayres of Albany, Ga., a step son, Steven Daniel Spencer of Virginia Beach, Va., his sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Tom West of Dothan, Alabama, a brother-in-law, Joe E. York of Tanner, Al. and sister-in-law Donna York Brannen of Fairhope, Al. He has many nieces and nephews.



Fred studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Alabama. He served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean War. Upon completion of his service to his country, Fred attended Mexico City College.


In 1955, Fred obtained his commercial pilot license and began his career as a crop-dusting pilot. In the 1960s Fred developed a relationship with Rockwell International and he began marketing their line of agricultural aircraft which led to the innovative marriage of the PT6A-34 turbine engine to the Thrush airframe.


Named the Ayres Thrush, this became the world's first turbine powered aircraft used for agricultural purposes.


In 1977, Fred purchased the Rockwell International plant in Albany, Ga. He had over 50 years of experience in spraying operations, agricultural flight schools, parts distribution, technological breakthroughs, aviation dealerships and aircraft manufacturing.


He was inducted into the National Agricultural Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1998, Ayres Corporation was recognized by the International Air Cargo Association for outstanding achievement, performance and innovation in the industry.


Fred Ayres was inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 20, 2002.


A celebration of life will be held in the near future.



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