John AyresApril 25, 1933 ~ January 10, 2018 (age 84)
John Gates Ayres of Westerville passed away January 10, 2018, after his 2003 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosis transformed into aggressive follicular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sine-Marie (Pedersen); daughters Keely (Steve Lake) and Andrea (Mark Dalglish); son Allan (Denise Simard) and granddaughter Eliza. He was preceded in death by older son Kevin. John was born April 25, 1933 in Columbus, Ohio, to the late Thelma Gates and Gould Hoskins Ayres and spent much of his childhood in Canal Winchester with Gates/Moore relatives. He graduated from Columbus Academy in 1951, then joined Navy ROTC at the Ohio State University, graduating with a BA in English in 1956. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant (j.g.) stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Valley Forge in Norfolk, VA where he met Sine-Marie, a teacher at the time. After his stint in the Navy, he worked at Cape Canaveral during the Mercury Program in the Pan American Airways Facilities Engineering Department. John and Sine later moved to Ohio where he embarked on a career as a lighting and electrical designer at several Columbus architectural and engineering firms. His designs can be seen most notably in the blue and white lights of the Rich Street Bridge in downtown Columbus (which received the 2013 National Recognition Award of the American Council of Engineering Companies) and in the blue and gold lights of the Market Street Bridge across the Ohio River at Steubenville (which received the 2012 Silver Award in the Engineering Excellence competition of ACEC's West Virginia chapter). A man of varied interests and talents, he valued both experience and education. John was an accomplished writer, published in Redbook magazine, and a dedicated photographer, especially on family trips. Ever creative and resourceful he loved tools, tinkering, repairing appliances, and taught the children carpentry and electrical work in the process of updating and renovating their century-old house. In recent years he participated in weekly African drumming sessions with Victory Drummers, a James Cancer Center survivor and caregiver group that "fosters empowerment and a sense of community by sharing in the joy of music-making" and, with Sine, learned Argentine tango as part of an OSU/Pelotonia research project that investigated how dance helps survivors and caregivers improve balance. A visitation will be planned in the spring. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to Mount Carmel Hospice, New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society or the charity of your choice.