At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
To the Ayres Family
c/o Life Story Funeral Homes; 5975 Lovers Lane
Checks payable to Laurie Ayres.
The funds will be used for the children's education and Steve's medical expenses.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Some spend their lives whittling away the days they are given while chasing the ever elusive American dream, but nothing could be further from the truth when it came to the extraordinary man who Steven Ayres was. Building wealth or accomplishing greatness as the world sees it was of little value to Steve as his mission in life was being a man of honor and integrity while deeply cherishing the wife and children he loved more than life itself. He could be focused when needed, but he loved to have fun, and he saw to it that those around him had just as much as fun as he did. We would have loved more time with Steve, but treasure the moments we shared with him while holding his memory forever in our hearts.
The sixties were a turbulent decade in American history when civil rights and women’s rights were front and center. As a nation we mourned the loss of President John F. Kennedy and were again shaken to our core with the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. not long after. It was amidst this colorful time that a young family from Vicksburg, Michigan, was eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the first leaves of the autumn season began to show their magnificent splendor in 1966. Their wait was over when their healthy baby boy was born on October 14th in Kalamazoo. Steven Todd was one of two children born to his parents, Steven Robert and Lois Jean (Williams) Ayres, and was raised in the family home alongside his sister, Stephanie. He loved spending time in the family swimming pool and experienced an upbringing that was fairly typical for the youth of his generation. Steve was very athletic and particularly good at football, basketball, baseball and as an adult softball.
As a student Steve attended local schools. He graduated from Vicksburg High School in 1985 with dreams of becoming a police officer. Steve began taking classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, but he was eager to begin making his mark in the world so he also took a job at Charles River. He moved onto James River for a short time, and from there Steve began working as a machine operator at American Axle where he was completely devoted to his work and always performed his duties to the best of his abilities. It was only when his health necessitated that Steve stopped working.
Although his work played a vital role in his life, there was nothing more near and dear to Steve’s heart than his family. He was blessed to find the woman of his dreams with whom he spent the best years of his life. Her name was Laurie Lynn Triezenberg, and they met while both working at Charles River. It was love at first sight, and they were dating by December of 1988. They say that opposites attract, and this completely describes the way Steve and Laurie complimented each other. Steve was outgoing while Laurie is not, Steve was funny and talkative and Laurie is more reserved so together they were a perfect match. They shared many of the same interests, such as their taste in music, entertainment, and friends. With a desire to build a life together they became husband and wife on August 28, 1993, on a day that was unforgettable in so many ways. They had a beautiful church wedding surrounded by several family and friends followed by a beautiful reception with a formal sit down dinner, dancing, cake, and fun! Their ride to the reception was in a 1963 limousine owned by his step-father Christopher Smith who was also their driver. The reception hall was decorated beautifully with a groom and bride made from balloons - truly a night the bride and groom never forgot.
Together Steve and Laurie were blessed with two children: Joshua and Hannah. He was a loving parent who could also be strict when needed. When his children were babies Steve was known to rock them to sleep on his lap, no matter the hour. He would give them a gentle massage on their foreheads that would lull them to sleep. Steve made spending time with his children a priority in his life and was their biggest supporter in whatever sport they participated in. He would say “I am your biggest critic, but I am also your biggest fan, and you will always have me in your corner.” He was also tender and reflective when with his children at times. He often took them fishing and boating during the summer, and together they made priceless memories just hanging out at Indian Lake. It was easy to see that his children were Steve’s most priceless treasure. The thought of leaving them to live so much of their lives without their father was one of the hardest challenges he faced over the past couple of years. Whenever this realization hit Steve, it was understandably laden with deep emotion. An animal lover, his German Shepherds were like additional members of the family, and he loved taking them to the lake and throwing the ball for them. Rico, Zeus, and Preyto were great canine companions, and he also had two cats at one time: Asti and Quarvo.
There were so many things to love about Steve. He was outgoing and friendly, the sort of man who could strike up a conversation with anyone. It was rare for the family to go where they didn’t see someone who knew Steve. His sociable nature made him the most comfortable when family and friends were with him. He was laid back and casual when it came to his sense of style as he could most often be found wearing sports jerseys and jeans, and of course there was also his signature Red Wings ball cap! Steve was known often saying, “I know,” and then there was another one of his favorites, “If it is your will or my will, my will will win!” With his downtime he loved watching professional sports, especially his favorite team the Detroit Red Wings. In addition, Steve liked fishing with his children and listening to classic rock music. It was known fact that you never challenged Steve in music trivia, he always won!
Life became more difficult for Steve and his loved ones when he was diagnosed with melanoma in February 2010. Steve was a fighter and fought his illness tooth and nail for his family up until the very last moment. His health was up and down, but during the last two months he experienced a steady decline until he drew his last breath in his home with his family by his side.
Through the life of Steven Ayres we are reminded that each day is a new gift to unwrap and to spend in any way we see fit. Steve loved the saying “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift that is why we call it the present.” He inspired us to deeply love those within our reach and that it is in the relationships we share with others that we are richly blessed. Steve loved having fun and was the life of the party wherever he went. When friends and family got together he was always focused on making sure everyone was having fun. A blessing in the lives of countless people around him, Steve will be deeply missed and warmly remembered.
Steven T. Ayres died on July 17, 2012. Steve’s family includes his wife, Laurie; children, Joshua and Hannah; his mother Jean Ayres, his father Steven R. Ayres and sister, Stephanie (Dave) Slutz, as well as many other relatives and friends. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane (344-5600), where a funeral service will be held on Friday at 11:00 a.m. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a favorite memory or sign the online guestbook.