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Leonard "Duffy" Ayers

February 24, 1938 - November 21, 2023

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Leonard Leroy Ayers Jr., 85, known to all as “Duffy”, beloved husband of Cynthia (Winslow) Ayers, left this world peacefully on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. He was born in Montpelier, VT on February 24, 1938, the son of the late Leonard Sr. and Evelyn (Slayton) Ayers.

Duffy was a 1956 Graduate of Stowe High School, and a 1960 graduate of Norwich University, where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and excelled on the ski teams. In 2015 he was named to the Norwich University Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements in skiing. Upon being graduated from Norwich, he proudly served in the United States Army in the early 1960’s, reaching the rank of First Lieutenant. He served in the Davy Crockett Platoon, an Armor Reconnaissance Squadron, and while serving in Germany during the Berlin Crisis, he was on the US Army biathlon ski team, a sport that requires skiing 24 miles and firing a rifle at targets, while prone, sitting, and standing, all while on skis. While stationed near Garmisch, Germany, Duffy met his wife of 59 years, Cynthia, at a coffee house. 

Duffy loved to ski, both water and snow. He was an avid outdoorsman, fishing with friends, felling trees, then hand-splitting wood, gardening and camping with his family. He was a 45-year parishioner of St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Yalesville (which is now Grace and St John’s in Hamden). While at St John’s he served on the Vestry many years, including time as Senior Warden. He loved antiques, attending auctions and shows with Cynthia, as their small business “Victoriantiques by Cyn and Duffy” and hosted many antique tag sales at their former Victorian home in Meriden. During retirement from retail management, he volunteered with the honor guard of the local Antique Veterans, honoring late veterans.

 

In addition to Cynthia, Duffy is survived by his son, Derek (Rachele) Ayers of Wallingford; his daughter, Charlotte (Kurt) Suitor of Tolland; his grandchildren, Ethan, Trenton and Corrina; his sisters, Evangeline (Andrew) Moffatt of Craftsbury, VT and Dawna (Howard) Hull of Lillian, AL; and numerous extended family members and beloved friends, especially the family’s dear friend Renee Janes.  

Services were held at Grace and St John’s Episcopal Church on Thursday, November 30, 2023, followed by interment in the State Veterans Cemetery.  Donations in Duffy’s memory may be made to Grace and St John’s or the Antique Veterans in Meriden. 

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