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Hugh Ayer, Professor Emeritus of history

Hugh AyerHugh Mason Ayer, right, 90, Professor Emeritus of history and former associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, died July 14 in Denton.

Ayer taught American history at North Texas from 1958 to 1986. His duties included serving as chair of the division of social science and, in 2004, he received the Honorary Alumni Award, given to individuals who were never students at UNT but showed outstanding devotion to the university.

A scholarship was set up in his name that supports entering freshmen who are in the top quarter of their high school class and have received a 1000 or higher on their SAT.

He belonged to the American Historical Association, Southern Historical Association, Mississippi Valley Historical Association, Phi Alpha Theta and the Texas Association of College Teachers.

Ayer was active in many organizations outside UNT, serving on the Denton City Council and Planning and Zoning Board and the board of directors of the Denton Area Teachers Credit Union and volunteering for the Salvation Army Denton Corps, Kiwanis Club, Habitat for Humanity, Denton Community Food Center and City/County Library Board. He was active in First Christian Church of Denton. He enjoyed woodworking, golf and flyfishing.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University and his master’s degree and doctorate from Indiana University. He taught at Culver Military Academy before coming to North Texas.

As a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945, he served as a radio operator in the Pacific Theater, intercepting Japanese naval communications. He also served in the reserve from 1950 to 1959.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth, two children and two grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at 2 p.m. July 17 at First Christian Church in Denton, with a reception following in the fellowship hall. He will be buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in McLean County, Kentucky.

Posted on: Wed 16 July 2014

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