Jack Turner Hayes
June 18, 1930 - April 24, 2008
Jack T. Hayes, a native of the valley, passed away quietly and peacefully with family by his side April 24, 2008 at St. Mary's Hospital. He had been admitted Sunday, April 20th with a quick onset of cancer. Jack was a loving husband, a caring Daddy, and a wonderful friend. He will be deeply missed by many.
He was born to Ray and Faye (Turner) Hayes in Fruita, CO. His grandparents, the Turners, homesteaded here in the valley and started the Flying W Ranch near Douglas Pass. His parents, an infant brother and his brothers-in-law Daniel Wells and John McKelvey preceded him in death.
Jack was raised in Fruita, CO, and graduated from Fruita Union High School in 1948. He and his best friend George Pickens joined the Army together in 1950 during the Korean War. Jack served his tour of duty in Germany and was a Corporal in Engineering. Upon his end of tour in 1954 he returned back to Fruita. Due to the economy he went to Grants, NM to work in the Uranium mill for one year with his cousin Leland Botkin, then they moved to Canyon City and worked at the Cotter Uranium Mill for seven years. He then came back to Fruita and got on with the Gilsonite/Gary Refinery plant west of Fruita. Finally getting the job he loved for years, being a Brakeman for the Rio Grande Railroad, running the Western route from Grand Junction. He retired in 1992 with a total of 33 years of service.
For years he served with the Fruita Volunteer Fire Dept. He was in the Fruita Quarterback club when his children were in school. You would find him at all the high school football games and wrestling matches. He was a lifetime member of the VFW #1247 and a member of the Moose Lodge. He enjoyed his quarterly Class Reunion breakfasts. He loved sports, especially the Broncos and the Rockies. After he retired, he took up golfing. He loved to go camping, hunting and enjoyed road trips to Sleepy Cat, Mesquite, Las Vegas, and Lake Powell. His real joy though was always his gardens. He always had the best veggies and loved to share them with everyone!
His wife, Reba R. Hayes of Clifton, CO survives him along with five children, Jackie (Kevin) DeLong of Fruita; Cozette "Cozy" (Lee) McCarty-Pease of Fruita; Michael James of Idaho Springs; Steven James of Fruita; JoAnn (Ted) Ruckman of Meeker. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Sarah and Leigha DeLong, Devin James, Nicholas and Christopher Ruckman and Julie (Jason) Lachance. He had just gotten word that he would be a great grandfather this year. Additional survivors are sisters, Peggy (George) Fuller of Glenwood Springs; Beverly Wells of Champaign, IL; former wife Shirley D. Hayes, of Fruita; sister-in-law Betty McKelvey of Grand Junction; brothers-in-law Robert and Bert Potter of Casper, WY;nephews, Kurt (Karen) Fuller, Brian (Val) Fuller, Steven (Cathy) Wells, Brad Wells and Daniel (Hillary) Wells, nieces, Patty (Jim) Smith, Leslie Wells and Raylene (Michael) O'Connor, plus many great nieces, nephews and cousins that loved him very dearly. He will be greatly missed by all.
Cremation has already taken place. A memorial service will be held at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary 2515 Patterson Road on Wednesday, April 30th, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. Final internment will be at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado at 1:00 p.m. located at 2830 D Road Grand Junction, CO 81501 with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Lower Valley Fire District, 168 N. Mesa St. # 1, Fruita, CO 81521 or Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741 www.bestfriends.org.
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Published in The Daily Sentinel on Apr. 27, 2008