Elmer G Ayers, III

March 11, 1943 ~ January 10, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Elmer Ayers Obituary

Elmer "Sonny" Ayers III, a cherished husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away peacefully on January 10, 2024, at the age of 80, in Oldsmar, Florida. Born on March 11, 1943, in New Providence, New Jersey, Sonny was a man whose humor, adventurous spirit, and loving nature left a lasting impression on all who knew him.

Sonny spent his early years in New Jersey before finding his way to Florida, where he would eventually make his mark as a successful salesman with Power & Pump and as the proud owner of Royal Oak Nursery in Seffner. His work ethic and charismatic personality made him not only a respected figure in his professional circles but also a beloved member of his community.

Beyond his professional achievements, Sonny was an avid fisherman and gardener, passions that allowed him to enjoy the beauty of nature and the simple pleasures of life. His love for the outdoors was only matched by the love he had for his family. Sonny was a devoted husband to his wife, Shirley Ayers, and a supportive father to his children, Melissa Hartman and her husband Bill, Michael Ayers and his wife Angela, Tammy Dayton and her husband Keith, Kathy Keasey and her wife Kris, Lara DuBose and her husband Allen, Brenda Richards and her husband Harold, and Christopher Crawford and his wife Sheilai. He was also a doting grandfather to his 24 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, who will carry the joy of his stories and the warmth of his laughter in their hearts forever.

Sonny was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy Griggs, and his stepfather, Robert Griggs. He is survived by his sister, Sheila Hester, who will miss her brother's playful wit and boundless energy.

Those who knew Sonny would describe him as funny, always ready with a joke or a clever quip to lighten the mood. His adventurous nature was evident in his willingness to explore new places, try new things, and embrace every opportunity for excitement and discovery. Above all, Sonny was loving—a man whose heart was as open and generous as his smile.

As we say our goodbyes, we hold onto the words of Elvis Presley, "Until we meet again, may God bless you as He has blessed me."

Sonny's life was a testament to the power of God and the strength of family bonds. His legacy will live on through the stories shared by his loved ones and the countless memories that will continue to inspire laughter and love.

As we bid farewell to Elmer "Sonny" Ayers III, we take comfort in knowing that his spirit will remain with us, guiding us to fish the biggest catch, to tend the most beautiful gardens, and to live life with the same zest and affection that he did. Sonny's journey may have come to an end, but his story will be told for generations to come, a story of a life well-lived and a man deeply loved.

Friends and family will be received Friday January 26, 2024 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Thonotosassa Church of God, 11702 Taylor Rd, Thonotosassa, FL 33592.
A Funeral service will follow at 12:00 PM.

Online condolences can be made at
Funeral arrangements were trusted to Haught Funeral Home, 708 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd Plant City, FL 33563, (813) 717-9300

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January 26, 2024

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Thonotosassa Church of God
11702 Taylor Road
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Funeral Service
January 26, 2024

12:00 PM
Thonotosassa Church of God
11702 Taylor Road
Thonotosassa, FL 33592

Video is available for this event


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