Services for Hack Ayers are Monday from 11 am until 2 pm at the La Follette Church of God.

By Noah Smith

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Where to begin? There is really no good place to start, because my great-uncle Hack Ayers was involved in almost everything you can think.    That was because he was passionate, passionate about our community and passionate about the people who live here. His heart lied in Campbell County and still to this day does. His grit and determination to make this community grow from nothing to something great are seen on almost every street corner and every avenue in LaFollette and our county. Hack came from nothing, and the stories I hear from my grandfather R.L. Ayers, nothing is not an understatement. Both of these men I have looked up to my entire life. Through their love for this community and passion to see it thrive, they have forever shaped how we live today.

Where Hack and I found most of our time talking, discussing, and doing together all involved politics. From attending state Republican fundraisers in Nashville to Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinners in Campbell County and around, and adventures to political fundraisers was a regular occasion for us both. Political talk and discussion, however, were more frequent. Every time I would see him the first thing he would say was, “What are you up to next?” or “Where are you going next?” He knew I had political ambitions and was always there to support me in everything I could do. In whatever I had in mind next, Hack was supporting me.

When I decided to run for the school board, I could see it electrify in his eyes. Hack was so excited for me and believed in my vision and passion for this county. From day one, he supported me and encouraged me to keep going, just like he did in his race for state representative and other offices. Hack saw something in me that I never could, and his love and admiration for me still to this day make me so blessed to have such a great man like him in my family and in my life.

Political fundraisers and functions will never be the same. With his presence forever gone, I will always remember the great times and laughs we shared at fundraisers, functions, and just small talk. Hack, even though he wore a size 16 shoe, has big shoes to fill, physically but more importantly figuratively. I hope to continue to live my life in pursuit of living out his love and compassion for people and the community in where I live.