Opal Fern Ayers, 96, died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, at the Neodesha Care and Rehab Center.
She was born March 21, 1922, in Liberty to Edwin and Mary Eugenia (Hurd) O'Brien.
She graduated from Independence High School.
On Nov. 24, 1945, she married Arthur Mack Ayers in Independence. He preceded her in death on Jan. 11, 2009.
She began teaching in the Liberty area's one-room school houses. She and Arthur moved to the High Prairie area around 1950, when she began teaching in Wilson County and Fredonia until 1969. They moved to the Wichita area, where she taught in Goddard for an additional 20 years. After retirement, they returned to Fredonia.
She is survived by five sons, Thomas Ayers of Altoona, Steve Ayers of Topeka, Michael Ayers of Altoona, Greg Ayers of Garden City, and Dave Ayers of Des Moines, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; one stepgrandson; 14 great-grandchildren; four stepgreat-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and one stepgreat-great-grandson.
She also was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Ruby Morton and Ruth Veith; and two brothers, Paul O'Brien and Dale O'Brien.
Cremation has been requested. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 21 at the High Prairie United Methodist Church near Altoona.
Memorials have been suggested to the Fredonia Public Library in care of Countryside Funeral Home, 420 S. 20th St., P.O. Box 247, Fredonia, KS 66736.
Online condolences may be left at www.countrysidefh.com.