Barbara Helen McCreary Ayers, aged 80 years, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Saturday, September 17, 2022 at her home in Jacksboro, Tennessee

Helen was a Godly prayer-warrior and known widely as a generous and loving Christian woman. She was born in Lafollette, Tennessee and graduated from Lafollette High School in 1960. She married her high school sweetheart and raised three children in Campbell County. She taught Sunday School and directed the Children’s Church at Lafollette Church of God for many years. She and her husband retired in November 2020 after working together for more than 60 years in hotel, restaurant, and property management businesses in Corbin, Kentucky and Lafollette, Tennessee.

Mrs. Ayers is preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Evelyn Kitchen McCreary, brothers Robert Edward McCreary, Billy Ray McCreary, Chester “Buddy” McCreary, and infant McCreary; sister-in-laws Jerri Ayers Roach Carney and Dorothy Turner McCreary; brother-in-laws Haskell “Hack” Ayers, Ray Carney, and Joe Roach; and son John Robert Ayers.

Mrs. Ayers is survived by her loving husband of 62 years Roy Lawrence “RL” Ayers, daughters Angela Ayers Greeson (Phillip), and Joye Ayers Smith (Michael); grandchildren Jessica Ayers (Jay Shannon), Katie Ayers Smythe (Drew), Justin Ayers, Michaela Smith Clawson (Dylan), Noah Smith, Helena Smith, Carter Greeson, Jonah Smith, Lydia Smith, Willa Smith, and Emma Claire Smith; great-grandchildren Charlotte “Charlee” Smythe, Brooks Smythe, and Clawson twin boys due in December. Many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends survive as well.

Family will receive friends from 5PM – 7PM Thursday, September 22, with services to follow at 7PM at LaFollette Church of God. Rev. Michael Dent and Rev. Johnny Vanover officiating. Family and friends will meet 9:30AM Friday September 23, at Cross-Smith Funeral Home and proceed to Campbell Memorial Garden for 10AM interment.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Pat Summit Foundations: Find a Cure for Alzheimer’s. 520 W Summit Hill Dr SW #1101, Knoxville, TN 37902

Condolences may be given online at

Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home

3 Replies to “Barbara Helen McCreary Ayers, age 80, of Jacksboro”

  1. So sorry for your loss. I have know the family for many years and know them as a Godly family. Just remember “nothing is loss if you know where it is”
    God Bless
    Harold and Jean Robbins

  2. R.L., I was so sorry to get the news that we had lost Helen. I remember when you two started dating. GOD put you two together and look what a journey it has been.
    LOVE from Florida Edwin and Lois Taylor

  3. R.L., Angie, and Joye,

    We are so very sorry for each of you. What a sweet person Helen was! She will truly be missed. So glad she knew our Savior! That is what matters. Praying God comforts you and that you are surrounded by the peace that surpasses all understanding.

    On behalf of the DeGuire family,


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