In Memory of





Obituary for Donald Paul "Don" Ayer

Donald P. Ayer, age 80, a longtime Chelmsford resident, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 28, 2022, at Sawtelle Family Hospice House, Reading, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Dorothy (Ahearn-McNulty) Ayer with whom he shared 26 years of marriage.

He was born in Lowell on January 11, 1942 and was a son of the late Alvah and Evelyn (Smith) Ayer. Don lost his mother when he was a young boy and was raised by his sister, Esther Zabierek and her husband Emil.

Don was raised in Lowell and following his graduation from Lowell High School, he proudly served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Era. After he was honorably discharged, Don furthered his education at Salem State University and later Fitchburg State University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Education. He taught Business Technology at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School for 30 years. Despite not knowing how to skate, Don started a hockey program at Shawsheen Tech and brought several teams to state tournaments at the Boston Garden. He taught computer skills classes at the Billerica House of Corrections, volunteered at My Brother’s Table in Lynn, and volunteered at St. Mary’s Table Ministry in Chelmsford. He was a lifelong Democrat and served as a Democratic State Delegate. He was a social member at Mount Pleasant Golf Club, played in multiple cribbage leagues, and was a member of the Chelmsford Elks Lodge. In 2021 Don was honored by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his years of service as a strong advocate for children and his unselfish contributions to the Nashoba Valley Regional Vocational Technical School where he served as a School Committee member until his passing.

In addition to his loving wife, Donald leaves his children, Daniel Ayer and his wife Donna of Weston, Heidi (Ayer) Jeffrey and her husband Gregg of Litchfield, NH, Michael McNulty and his wife Lorraine of Versailles, KY, Sean McNulty and his wife Heather of South Hamilton, and Erin McNulty of Lowell; his five beloved grandchildren, Brendon Jeffrey, Mason Jeffrey, Rhiannon McNulty, Ian McNulty, and Evan McNulty; along with many nieces, and nephews.

Sadly, he is predeceased by his parents and seven siblings, Evelyn Collier, Esther Zabierek, Alvah Ayer, Willard Ayer, Robert Ayer, Roger Ayer, and Diane Murphy.

Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, from 3 pm – 7pm at the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford. His Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, November 3, at 11am at St. Mary Parish, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford. KINDLY MEET AT THE CHURCH. Interment to follow in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Chelmsford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made payable to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School Foundation (NVTHSF) c/o Don Ayer Memorial Scholarship Fund, 100 Littleton Rd., Westford, MA 01886 or donate online at Flipcause at and type “Don Ayer Memorial Scholarship Fund” in the comments box.