JARS v63n2 - In Memoriam: Gladys Ayers

In Memoriam: Gladys Ayers

Gladys Marguerite Ayers died recently at the age of 91. She was born in McClave, Colorado, November 27, 1914. If she hadn't received a scholarship for having been valedictorian of her high school class in Bent County High School she wouldn't have been able to go to college to fulfill her lifelong ambition to become a certified teacher. Her father wanted her to stay and help with farm work during the Great Depression, but her mother insisted her education would be a good investment. Her father sold a horse to help finance her education.

She graduated with a bachelor's degree from Colorado State College of Education at Greeley, Colorado, and taught in Salt Lake City, Utah, for six years. Newspapers in Salt Lake City printed articles featuring her innovative teaching, especially for helping her students build an actual log cabin in their classroom. While earning a master's degree at Columbia University Teacher's College in New York City, she taught at Bernard School for Boys, a large private school for boys.

She was offered a principalship in Salt Lake City and to head Columbia's College of Teacher Education, the largest teachers' college in the country. In those days female teachers had to sign contracts that they would not marry. Instead, she chose to marry F. Ernest Myers, a soldier who was transferred to Fort Meyers, Florida. They were wed March 27, 1945. After World War II they lived in Estancia, New Mexico, where Mr. Ayers practiced law with his father. Gladys taught in a number of schools in several locations before retiring in Shelton, Wash.

The Ayers were active members of the American Rhododendron Society, Shelton Chapter.