Glenn Ayres - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Obituaries

Glenn Ayres

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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 4:23 pm

The man on the dance floor seemed to float on air. He moved his partner from side to side as the band played. He was dapper, distinguished, elegant, and immaculately dressed. And when he spoke, his voice resonated with a fullness and warmth.

This was Glenn Ayres, a midwestern boy who grew to be an innovative and internationally known consultant. He spent most of his life as an attorney, but an attorney with a twist. Glenn preferred counseling and mediation to litigation, and this twist allowed him to help guide and influence hundreds of family-owned businesses.

Glenn was born April 28, 1942 in Omaha, Nebraska, as the oldest of four children born to Glenn John Ayres and Grace Elizabeth Ayres.

The family moved to Minneapolis, where Glenn started school. The winters were harsh there, but for a young boy it was heaven. Glenn became a polished cross-country skier and grew to become a superb athlete.

In high school, Glenn dreamed of attending Dartmouth University. He and another applicant were so close in their abilities and backgrounds that the school literally flipped a coin to see who would get the last available scholarship. Glenn lost.

As a result, he ended up attending his father’s alma mater – the University of Nebraska - where he pledged the Delta Upsilon fraternity and continued excelling in sports. Despite his athletic successes, Glenn was attracted to the theater.

As a master-of-arms at the university, he produced numerous dramatic plays, including Bye Bye Birdie twice. He acted in Guys and Dolls, Fiorello, and Music Man. He was tempted to pursue a career in theater, but instead chose law.

While attending the university, Glenn joined the Army ROTC. He had hoped to become a pilot, but poor eyesight limited his options. He spent three consecutive summers in Fort Riley, Kansas as a cadet, graduating as a second lieutenant.

Glenn wanted to do something important for his country while helping others, so, on the advice of a close friend, he trained to become a Judge Advocate General, or JAG.

After graduating from the university in l965, Glenn moved on to the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating in 1968 and passing the Minnesota bar on his first attempt. His first assignment as a JAG officer was at Fort Lewis, Washington. He then served in Heidelberg, Germany for three years.

In 1990, Glenn met the love of his life, Carolyn. They married in 1994 and settled in St. Paul Minnesota. They moved to Coronado full time in 2006.

For more than 25 years, Glenn Ayres consulted with families, executive teams and businesses on matters of family business succession, change management and governance. He was known far and wide as one of the best natural mediators in the business.

In 2002, Glenn obtained a doctorate in organizational development from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He also became a founding member of the university’s Center for Family Enterprise and served for several years as a professional-in-residence and on the center’s advisory board. He also taught ethical decision making in business and family business as an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University.

Glenn was a founder of the Minnesota-based Family Business Alliance and a board member and past president of the International Family Firm Institute. He was a frequent speaker and lecturer on family business, governance, the wisdom of multi-disciplinary teams, and dealing with grief on a professional level.

Glenn and Carolyn traveled all over the world and loved sailing the waters of the Mediterranean, Lake Superior, Florida, Hawaii, and the Pacific Northwest. They owned a Corsair trimaran with folding mast that allowed them to trailer it and explore unlikely and exotic bodies of water.

Glenn was an active golfer and tennis player, and in Coronado took up the sport of lawn bowling. He would wake at the crack of dawn and clean the lawn bowling courts or play in a hotly contested doubles match.

There is a rock along Ocean Boulevard that Glenn could frequently be seen sitting on. He called it Ayres Rock. “It’s a great place for quiet, to watch the ocean and prepare for the day,” he often said. “It’s my special place.”

Glenn is survived by his wife Carolyn of Coronado and two daughters, Liz (John) Runyon and Jodi Ayres (Heather), both of Minnesota. Two grandchildren, Jake and Abby, also survive him.

Glenn will be interred privately at Miramar National Cemetery on April 5. A public service will be held at the Coronado Community Church Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m. The church is located in Village Hall on Sixth Street and H Avenue in Coronado.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to any of the following:

Coronado Community Church [Choir Angel Fund], P.O. Box 181680, Coronado, CA 92118; Coronado Island Film Festival, [Dale St. Denis Female Filmmaker Award], 1504 Parkview Place, Coronado, CA 92118; Elizabeth Hospice, 500 LaTerraza Boulevard, Suite #130, Escondido, CA 92025.