Marjorie Jean Hays (1933 - 2017)

  • "My condolences to the family ,may you fond memories help..."
  • "My most sincere sympathies to Marj's family. I was one of..."
    - Malena Babcock
  • "Hugh and family. I am so sorry to hear of Marge's death. My..."
    - Tom Murphy
  • "It was a sobering moment to learn of Marg's passing and it..."
  • "My sincere sympathies to everyone in Marj's family. I'm so..."
    - Marion Nelson

Soldotna resident Marge Hays, 84, died Saturday Dec. 9 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Kenai Peninsula College in the Ward Building.

Marge was born August 11, 1933 in Frenchburg, KY. Her father served as an air force chaplain, and mother a teacher. During World War II, when Marge was 10 years old, her father was deployed to a secret destination at the same time her mother was sent to a tuberculosis sanitarium and then died. Marge and her younger sister Ann subsequently lived with relatives, who Marge later described as "all so kind to us." When her father returned, he remarried and Marge had two younger sisters Pat and Liz. Marge graduated from high school in Panama, and attended Sterling College in Kansas, where she met her beloved husband of 61 years, Hugh. Marge was a strong, independent woman with a good sense of humor. When asked how she and Hugh stayed married so long, she would give a sly grin and say "Oh, gosh, we never had any problems whatsoever-61 years of wedded bliss!"

Marge worked as a teacher and school counselor in Ohio until 1975, when she agreed to follow Hugh's Alaskan dream. She taught at Sears Elementary School for three years, followed by 20 years at Kenai Peninsula College – UAA, and completion of her PhD at the age of 50. She believed that it is our responsibility as human beings to do what we can to make the world a better, kinder place. She lived these beliefs by making relationships primary in her life. She was a politically active liberal who got along well with her conservative neighbors and friends, and she loved people of diverse religious beliefs. Don't paint anyone into a corner, she'd say, always give them an out. Most people are trying to do a good job, so leave them a little wiggle room. She served as a former State Commissioner on Aging, State President of the League of Women Voters, and Board Member for the State Mental Health Trust, Kenai-UAA Advisory Board, Soldotna Library, and Leeshore Women's Center. Until a few months before her passing, she chaired the Kenai Climate Change Group, and was an active member of her book group, women's investment group, and the fitness center.

In the choices she made, the priorities she set, the principles she lived, Marge was the most gifted of teachers. We were blessed beyond words to have her for 84 years.

Surviving family members include her husband Hugh Hays, daughter Kim Hays, daughter Pam Hays and her husband Bob McCard, grandson Wade Hays and his fiancée Kimmy England, sisters Pat Rivera and Liz Nightingale of Chicago; nieces and nephews and their families; and many, many friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Central Peninsula Hospital Foundation, Kenai Peninsula College, or Leeshore Women's Center.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Please sign or visit her online guestbook at
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Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Dec. 15, 2017