Douglas Warren Ayers
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico-Douglas Warren Ayres, 84, died of a massive heart attack at a timeshare resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015.
Reared up in a West Virginia holler, he worked from age 9, played high school football in White Sulphur Springs and then joined the Army. Not having the G.I. Bill, Doug worked his way through Roanoke College in Salem, VA, where he lettered in track; then the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, earning a Bachelor’s Degree. He belonged to KA fraternity at Roanoke and UNC and made Phi Beta Kappa at Carolina. He then secured a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University. While in college he found his life calling by working for the Town of Salem, sequentially as laborer, “flunky,” Town Attorney Indentured Law student, Town Clerk, and Assistant Town Manager. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force at Carolina, rising to Major over a wide variety of active and Reserve assignments in 20 years, the last as Base Commander of Portland Air Force Base, Oregon.
Ayres left Salem to become a field consultant for the University of Chicago’s National Government Center/PAS worldwide consulting subsidiary. There Doug had a wide variety of assignments, including the only person to draft major portions of the Constitutions, and implementing Statehood for both Alaska and Hawaii. Those projects took him to 17 States, Canada, and Venezuela for 45 engagements. He then served as City Manager of Melbourne, FL; Salem, OR; Inglewood, CA, and General Manager of Leisure World, CA.
In 1976, Doug formed Douglas W. Ayres, Inc. and Management Services Institute, Inc., financial consulting companies for financial solutions design and implementation and municipal bond underwriting. He was labeled by The Los Angeles Times as “the Red Adair of Municipal Finance.” More than 800 governments were serviced over 20 years and together with partners and the company’s 65 employees, raised some $7+ billion for clients. Among other activities Doug drafted and implemented 17 city charters. Ayres was a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Schools of Cal State Long Beach, University of CA, Irvine and University of Southern CA as a Full Professor. He retired from USC in 1990. He also taught 10 years for California Peace Officer’s Standards and Training and the National Sheriff’s Institute. In 1981 Doug co-founded The Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA, which he served as General Partner from 2005 through 2009.
Doug and Pam loved Sedona. They married at Church of the Red Rocks in 1985. They bought a home in Sedona’s Canyon Mesa Country Club in 1986, retiring there in 1993. Over 15 years they cruised all three US and Canadian coasts, the Great Lakes and 90 percent of the navigable rivers and waterways in their 54’ powerboat. That voyage covered 26,000 miles, 462 locks and 683 ports in 1,300 days. Another 150,000 miles were covered in motor homes. They downsized to their current Sedona Gold Resort home in 2013.
Doug wrote thousands of professional reports and documents, seven books, and in 2010 received an honorary L.L.D., Doctor of Laws degree, from his beloved Roanoke College recognizing his service to governments, from the US Congress to tiny but important districts. Retired but contributing, he served on Big Park Swere District for two years and was currently serving on the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System Board. He tried to follow the quote from John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Therefore, he was a chronic writer of “Letters to the Editor” in hopes of generating the public to “think outside the box” for the betterment of his country.
He is survived by wife, Pamela Swift Ayres; half-sisters, Karen Burgan, Mary Ellen Lalonde (Larry) of Michigan, Vicki Kielas (John) of Ecuador and mother-in-law; Dorothy Inman, of Sedona.
Doug was predeceased by his father Warren, his mother Dorothea and half-sister Gail.
Pursuant to his wishes there were no services.
Obituary submitted by Shanklin Funeral Home, White Sulphur Springs.