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Frederick Slaven Ayers, MD

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Published in The Boston Globe on April 26, 2021

AYERS, Frederick Slaven MD Of Scituate, passed away on April 13th, peacefully at home with his wife, Elizabeth, after a 2-year battle with ALS. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his 4 children, Michael (Ginny) Ayers, Sarah (David) Hull, Timothy (Amy) Ayers and Katherine (Mike Diamantopolous) Ayers, and grandchildren Jack (Tricia) Ayers, Meg Ayers, Luke Ayers, Sam Hull, Coco Hull, Maggie Ayers, Nate Ayers, Titus Breen, Lilly Diamantopolous and Callie Diamantopolous. He is also survived by his sister Margaret Thompson, his brother Raymond (Marte) Ayers and his dog Ed.

He will be missed by his friends and colleagues from all aspects of his long and interesting life.

Fred was an Eagle Scout at age 14 and a caddie at Cohasset Country Club, receiving a Francis Ouimet scholarship which helped him to attend Holy Cross College, followed by Tufts Medical School. After training at Boston City Hospital, he served in the US Navy during the Vietnam era, reaching the rank of LCDR by age 28. He joined the staff of South Shore Hospital (SSH) in 1972, serving until 2018. He was well known for his leadership roles at SSH, where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon and became Chairman of Surgery. From the CEO to the hard-working people who cleared the sidewalks and swept the floor, his devotion to staff, patients and the community of the South Shore was admirable. Known for his blue-collar, lead-by-example style, he helped usher in a new age of health care and was a pioneer in arthroscopic orthopedic surgery.

Away from the work, he enjoyed sailing, skiing, hiking, drinking bourbon, spending time in the company of large dogs and traveling the world with his beautiful bride and friends. He never missed an opportunity to spend quality time with his family or to teach them the virtues of getting up early on weekends to do yard work. In his later years, he discovered a talent and passion for wood turning.

He was quick with his wit, gifted with his hands, passionate with his heart and always hungry with his mind. A lifelong learner, he always shared his opinions, whether wanted or not. He regularly practiced random acts of kindness, such as routinely paying the toll for the car behind him. Even though he was dying, he kept learning. He knew more about ALS than most?and likely he will give Stephen Hawking a run for his money in Heaven.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Visitation will be held at McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home, 160 South Main Street, COHASSET, MA on Thursday, April 29th, from 6-9 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mary of the Nativity Church, 1 Kent Street, Scituate, MA at 10:00 am on Friday, April 30th. Church capacity is limited, and masks and social distancing will be required. Please RSVP to services and for an online guestbook, please visit In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Compassionate Care ALS in Fred’s name at or at PO Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574.

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