Walter E. (Gene) Hayfield

2 entries
  • "Miss you grandpa I wish we could have spent more time..."
    - Matt cannon
  • "Miss you daddy."
    - Kim Cannon
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Obituary


Walter E (Gene) Hayfield
Mar. 11, 1923 - Jan. 4, 2011

After a long, courageous battle with Parkinson's disease, Gene passed away peacefully with his wife and family by his side.
Gene was born in Valentine, Montana to Nick and Mary Hayfield. They later moved to Princeton, Idaho and he attended school there, graduating from Potlatch High School.
Gene served in the Army in the 2nd Armored Division as a tank driver. He fought through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, and spent a year in the hospital in England and the U.S.
After his discharge from the service, he married Freda Haught from Lumber-port, W. VA., and they had a daughter, Linda. He attend-ed the University of W. VA, graduating with a degree in forestry. He then moved with his family to Monroe, WA where he worked for the Dept. of Natural Resources. Freda passed away in 1965 after the birth of another daughter, Kim.
In 1968, Gene and Mary Jane Zemple were married, blending their families to total six girls. He was transferred to Anacortes, WA in 1973, working in the San Juan Islands. He retired in 1981, and then he and Mary Jane lived on a sailboat for five years. They also traveled to Europe and camped for six months, revisiting many of Gene's wartime sites. They also enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada. Gene loved taking "the road less traveled," all of nature, dancing sing-a-longs, but most of all, family. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW and a very proud member of the 2nd Armored Divisions Assn.
Surviving Gene are his wife, Mary Jane, of 42 years; their six daughters, Linda Norling, Kim Cannon (Shane), Nancy Loen (Don), Melina Toivonen (Dave), Joan McEwen and Gail Ochiltree (Mark); also 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. Also surviving is a sister, Marie Harris; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Ernie Hayfield and Clarence Stein.
A memorial service was held in January at St. Phillip's Episcopal Church in Marysville, and a private service April 18 with interment is planned for the family at Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery.
Mary Jane and the family are truly grateful for the loving care given to Gene and his family by all the medical personnel involved in his care during the last few years.
Gene had an insatiable love for life, never complaining of his many discomforts, believing that "a cure might be found tomorrow, or next week." He was greatly loved and terribly missed.



Published in The Herald (Everett) on Apr. 10, 2011
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