Dorene (Peterson) Ayars

Born: Sat., Aug. 7, 1926
Died: Fri., May 22, 2020

Family to do services at later date


12:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Wed., May 27, 2020
Location: Pendleton Pioneer Chapel, Folsom-Bishop

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Dorene (Peterson) Ayars
May 22, 2020

Dorene (Peterson) Ayars, 93, died Friday, May 22, 2020 at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon, from natural causes surrounded by loved ones.

Born in Pendleton, Oregon, on August 7, 1926, to Albert Peterson and Ruth (Huddleston) Peterson.  Dorene attended the Ukiah School and graduated from Ukiah high school.  While in High School, Dorene served as a princess on the Ukiah Rodeo Court.  When the US Bar Dude Ranch was operating, Dorene was known as a key wrangler and often took the dudes for their trail rides.  Dorene also enjoyed riding in the Happy Canyon mounted quadrille.

After high school graduation, Dorene attended University of Oregon where she majored in Art.  As a result, she always had a sketch pad on hand to capture what caught her eye.

In 1945, she married her childhood sweetheart, Wesley E. Ayars, after his return from his service in World War II to the United States Navy.  After their marriage, Dorene took her first job working as a phone operator for the telephone company in Pendleton.  After she had her first daughter, Kathy, she chose to be at home.

Dorene and Wes moved back to Ukiah, where she had her son, David, followed by her daughter, Karen.  From her lovely home on the hill in Ukiah, she loved watching wildlife and storms from her big windows overlooking Camas Prairie. After several years of being at home, she was employed by the US Forest Service in Ukiah and worked for them for many years until her retirement.  

Dorene was a mainstay in the Ukiah community, where she was found volunteering in many capacities.  She volunteered as the Librarian for the town of Ukiah, served on the Ukiah School Board and was the Secretary/Treasurer for the Ukiah Presbyterian Church for many years.  She also led various 4-H clubs and took part in the Home Extension groups.  She always enjoyed helping with her brothers’ cattle operation, and even helped them gather cattle as she got older.

Later in life, Dorene’s middle name was “GO,” as she adored taking long drives anywhere.  She especially loved getting her hair done by her granddaughter, Kathy.  One of her chief pastimes was attending any of her grandchildren and great-grandchildrens’ events and activities, including many sports.  She was known for her generous heart, especially in her care of people both physically and emotionally.  Her last words in the hospital were, “I am a sassy sassy sassy lady.”

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Wesley Ayars, her daughter Kathy (Ayars) Smith, and her brothers, Robin and Bill Fletcher.  She was also preceded in death by her parents, Albert Peterson and Ruth Peterson Fletcher.  She leaves a son, David Ayars (Julie) and a daughter Karen (Ayars) Parker (Rodney); a son-in-law, Tom Smith; a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Fletcher; grandchildren David Smith, Kris Smith, Kathy (Parker) Persinger, Jeremy Parker, Marissa Ayars Valenzuela, Kirk Jenson, Kris Jenson, Jason Carlson, Matthew Tennant and Jonathan Mansker; and several great-grandchildren.

Dorene knew where she was headed, as Jesus was always by her side.  

A celebration of life has been postponed until COVID restrictions on gathering size have been lifted.  Look for further details on facebook as time gets closer.
Memorial contributions may be made to Broken Horn Ministries, PO Box 112, Pendleton OR  97801.

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Bruce Campbell
   Posted Fri May 22, 2020
To: David and Karen,
I have many many very fond memories of your Mother, Dorene, during my Ukiah days! She took after her Mother, Ruth Fletcher! When it came to hospitality and cooking skills. There was always an open invitation for breakfast, lunch or dinner at your house. If it wasn’t meal time, there was a choice of cakes, pies or cookies. If you didn’t have time for one of those, one of those would be packaged up to take with you. There were also times, as I recall that your house was open for snacks during the town dances at the community center!
She and your Dad, Wes, deserve lots of credit for raising three mighty fine children! I am fortunate in having her as a part of my life!

Bruce Campbell
   Posted Fri May 22, 2020


Nancy and Gary Martin, daughters Laurel and Katie
   Posted Wed May 27, 2020
To Karen and David, their families, and Tom Smith family, we were so saddened to hear that you have lost your mom and grandmother. Dorene was a loving spirit who gave everything she could to her family and friends. It was a pleasure for me to get to know her after Gary and I moved to Ukiah. She was a special friend to my mother-in-law, Maureen. I heard stories about you kids and the Martin youngsters playing together while the grownups played cards. She accepted me completely and was a cherished person in my life. I know you will miss her terribly in the time to come, as will Ukiah folks who remember her now.

Patti Baker
   Posted Wed May 27, 2020
Karen,David and family, Please accept our deepest sympathy. You are all in our thoughts during this difficult time..
Steve and Patti Baker

Nell Roberts
   Posted Wed June 03, 2020
I am sorry to hear about your lose. Mom (Ruth Smith) and Doreen were good friends. I enjoyed Doreen as well.

My prayers and thoughts are with your family. May God bless all of you.

Tom Dalton
   Posted Wed June 03, 2020
Karen - so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Mom always spoke fondly of Wes and Dorene, and I enjoyed the conversation with her at Rooster's. Saddened for your loss. Please stay safe during this difficult time.

- Tom

Penny French
   Posted Tue June 09, 2020
Love and condolences to you all. Dorene, and your whole family, are wonderful examples of kindness, generosity and community tradition. Blessings.

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