J.C. Ayers is the founder of North Georgia Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., located at U.S. Highway 11 and Wawona Drive in Wildwood, GA. After attending night school and working for Universal Heating and Air Conditioning Company in Chattanooga as their shop foreman he decided to start his own business in the old Townsend Store in 1961. A couple of years later, he had Lamar Moore to build a new North Georgia Heating a block away from the Townsend Store building where it is still located today. From its inception in the early ’60 to 1990, J.C. had employees from Chattanooga, including each of his brothers, one brother-in- law, several nephews, local friends as well as all of the immediate family. His wife Betty, Diane (daughter) and both sons (Larry and Eric) all worked there during some time throughout the next three decades.

North Georgia Heating and Air Conditioning was incorporated March 1968. J. C. Ayers was president and treasurer, Betty Hunt Ayers served a vice president and secretary and Diane Ayers was named a shareholder. Several years later, Larry Ayers was named vice president. North Georgia Heating was recognized as a commercial and residential contractor and built its reputation by serving the Tri-State area including North Carolina. North Georgia Heating began primarily as a Carrier and Bryant dealer and later became affiliated with General Electric. GE was ultimately bought by The Trane Company and North Georgia Heating also became a Trane dealer. At various times during J. C.’s ownership North Georgia Heating won several region “Dealer of the Year” awards. As a result, we were awarded with trips to Rome, London, France, Hawaii, Mexico and Caribbean cruises. Sometime awarded four trips a year and enjoyed them with other dealers from Chattanooga area. In the years 1972 and 1973 we had 21 employees and six trucks on the road installing and servicing air conditioning systems.

J.C. has donated at least a dozen complete central heat and air systems to various churches, community centers and widows during the 29 years he owned North Georgia Heating. Recently one of our neighbors, Margaret Robertson, told me that “when the North Dade Community Center needed something they would say, “see J.C., but don’t ask him any thing in front of Betty”. J.C. has always been a generous person and would have probably given me away if he could have found any takers.

In 1983, J.C. began having some health problems which led to heart surgery and suffered another stroke four years later in 1987. Due to these problems, we decided to sell the business in 1990 to Randy Cornell of Reliable Heating, a local contractor from Chattanooga. Our retirement became official in September of 1990 and we began to enjoy the next phase of our lives by traveling, attending Navy reunions and visiting with our friends. So far the “golden years” have been great for the both of us! J. C. has made a routine of going out to breakfast every morning to meet with “the gang”, then comes home to work on his antique cars in the garage. I usually accompany him about three times a week for the breakfast outings and then resume my own affairs. J. C.’s favorite car is his 1936 Oldsmobile Coupe, which is currently being restored in the garage. This was the model owned when we first married, so we’re both sentimental about it. He also loves to listen to his gospel quartet tapes when he is working in the garage so singing has become another hobby he has taken up! (Submitted by J.C. (Betty) Ayers, Wildwood, GA 30758)


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