Ayers, Eleanor Theresa

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Eleanor Theresa Fernley Ayers, known by many as “Cookie,” of Pulaski, Va., gracefully entered the gates of heaven to be with our heavenly Father on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.

She was born in 1937 in Paterson, N.J., to her late parents, George Edward Fernley and Violet Brooks Fernley. Cookie was also preceded in death by her sisters, Gladys Costa and Helen Perry; her brother, Robert Fernley; and her great-grandson, Julian Calhoun.

Surviving are sister Georgeanna Egan of Greensboro, N.C.; brother Edward Fernley of Garfield, N.J.; children and spouses Kelly Egan and Ronald DeLapp of Pulaski, Va., Michael and Elena Thomas of Bradenton, Fla, and Willard Thomas of Kissimmee, Fla.; step-son Richard Ayers, formerly of Paterson, N.J.; grandchildren Kristina Ballo and boyfriend Patrick Calhoun of Pulaski, Courtney Ballo of Pulaski, Ronald, Kevin and Michael DeLapp of Pulaski; Brian Reynolds and wife Ashley of Ogdensburg, N.J., Daniel Russomanno of Little Falls, N.J., Brittney Thomas of Hughett, N.J., Erica Thomas of Bradenton and Dylan Thomas of Kissimmee; great-grandchildren Adiaina, Halainie, Colton, Michael, Tyler, Trevor, Jayden and Sahira; many nieces, nephews and other loved ones; and special friend she held dear to her heart, Jackie Cole-Gagner of Greenville, S.C.

Cookie was, still and will be forever loved and cherished by so many people up and down the East coast. Though she lived a life of trials and tribulations, no matter what, she made everyone smile. She has been a strong woman, even through her last battle. She touched so many lives that she will never truly be gone from us. Eleanor loved angels – heaven gained one and we lost one.

The family thanks the ICU, Dr. “Joe” in the ER, and Dr. Yoder and Dr. Chatterjee at LewisGale Hospital-Pulaski for their amazing work and true care that they had for our loved one during her most trying time. Also, a thank you to Father Jeroslaw “Jerek” Nowacki of St. Jude Catholic Church for blessing her soul before her time ended.

Per Eleanor’s final requests, she didn’t want to have a funeral or memorial service of mourning. Rather she wanted to have a private celebration of life ceremony with close family. She has requested her ashes be with the love of her life, who also preceded her in death, John Joseph (Happy Jack) Egan.

Condolences and donations for services are welcomed and appreciated by the family, and are to be sent to the family home, 310 Cliff St., Pulaski, VA 24301.

Arrangements are by Stevens Funeral Home, Pulaski.