Tina M. Ayer

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Tina M. Ayer, 33; loved -- and lived -- rock 'n' roll

She was known as Mrs. T.

It was because of all the gold jewelry Tina M. Ayer would wear every day -- crosses and pendants hanging around her neck and a ring on each finger, just like Mr. T, the TV star from the '80s.

Did she have any favorites? "They were all her favorites," her daughter Kayla Marie D. Abbenante Ayer, 15, said yesterday.

With the jewelry and the blond highlights in her black hair, the diminutive Ms. Ayer, 33, was hard to miss. And impossible to ignore.

"She loved to talk," said Kayla, as she, her aunt Desiree Phillips and a friend recounted stories about Ayer. "She was so outgoing."

Kayla and Tina Ayer lived together in the Oakland Beach section of Warwick. Born and raised in Warwick, Ms. Ayer was divorced from Kayla's father and didn't live with her 8-year-old son, Daniel N. White.

Kayla and Tina were more like friends than mother and daughter.

Kayla remembers when she got her tongue pierced last year. Her mother came with her and even joked that she'd get hers pierced too.

"But she looked through the window watching me get it done, and she was crying she was so scared," said Kayla.

She was generous and compassionate, but it was her goofiness that was so endearing, said Phillips.

Ms. Ayer loved rock 'n' roll, especially those '80s "hair bands" and metal groups. She'd often go to karaoke bars to sing their songs and even sang at her brother's wedding.

She loved that rock star image, too. When she wasn't at her job at the Fairfield Inn, in Warwick, she'd put on a pair of Levi's and a leather jacket and ride Harley-Davidsons with her friends. She dreamed of buying her own bike one day.

"She was definitely a Harley babe," said Phillips.

Kayla fidgeted with the rings on her fingers as she listened. They were some of her mother's.

Ms. Ayer was wearing most of her jewelry the night of the fire. Her father, Steven W. Ayer, has it now.

Kayla says when she gets it back, she'll take off the jewelry that's hers and wear her mother's.

"And then she'll be Mrs. T junior," said Phillips.

Besides her daughter, son, and father, Ms. Ayer leaves her stepmother, Candy L. Carlow of West Warwick; her brother, Anthony Rego of North Kingstown; three sisters, her twin, Tammy L. Ayer of Bristol, Carmen S. Ayer of Rochester, N.Y., and Angel L. Ayer of Rome, N.Y.; three stepbrothers, Roland J. Carlow in New Jersey, John M. Pucella of Coventry and Manuel S. Carlow of West Warwick; and two stepsisters, Dawn M. Carlow of West Warwick and Desiree K. Phillips of East Providence.

-- Journal staff writer Alex Kuffner


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