Richard Ayer was born in Olympia in 1894. He grew up on a dairy farm and attended Bush Prairie School. He graduated in 1916 and then attended Washington State College for one year. He was needed at home to help with the farm, so he dropped out of school and in 1919 he married an Olympia girl, Hildah Goodpasture, and they had one child, Patricia. Richard continued to operate the dairy, milking 65 jerseys, in partnership with his brother Travis. For some time they peddled the milk door to door and in the 1930’s they helped form the Olympia Milk Producers Association. During and after WWII, their milk was shipped to Fort Lewis. In 1959, the Ayer Brothers operation sold the working part of the farm and retired. In later years, Richard suffered from diabetes and both feet had to be amputated in 1978. Not one to sit idle, he took up latch hooking, turning out some 34 rugs before his death May 6, 1981. He was a generous person to those in need and had discussed setting up a scholarship, but somehow never got around to it. His daughter Patricia started college near the end of the depression and received much needed help from a family friend. The Richard C. Ayer Memorial Scholarship seemed to be a good way to carry on Mr. Ayer’s philosophy and pay back, in a way, the benefits she received.
The recipient must be a graduate of Olympia High School, Olympia, Washington. Strong preference will be given to students who were active in 4-H and who are interested in majoring in agriculture or home economics.