August 9, 1934 - May 24, 2021
Centre Hall, Pennsylvania - John William Hayes 86, of Centre Hall, passed away on Monday the 24th of May at Wynwood House in Boalsburg. He died peacefully in his sleep with family members by his side. Carol, his loving wife of sixty-four years, had preceded him in his passing.
Born in 1934 in Mill Hall, PA, John grew up in Bellefonte attending high school there and playing trumpet in the school band. Afterward, he attended Lock Haven State College for a year before being accepted into the U.S. Air Force in 1953 as an aviation cadet officer. After graduating from flight school at Greenville, Mississippi, he was assigned to the USAF Military Airlift Command and was stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany where he and Carol were married in 1955. John and Carol would become the closest of companions and the absolute love of each other's lives. Over the next twelve years, John continued his service with the Air Force spending time in Germany, France, and Spain. His last duty station was at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina where he flew transport aircraft on combat support missions into Vietnam in 1967.
After having three children, it was decided he leave the service and return to Bellefonte to begin a new life. John worked as a manager at Mid-State Bank and also tried his hand at running his own business. However, flying was never far from John's life. Within a few years, he joined the Pennsylvania Air National Guard (ANG) in Harrisburg with the 193rd Electronic Combat Group, again flying as pilot in command. During that time he continued to fly corporately for Penns Cave, HRB-Singer and spent the last ten years of his professional flying career at Penn State University. John was honorably discharged from the service and officially retired from the Air Force with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He continued to fly privately for many years even owning several aircraft.
John liked to ride motorcycles, an activity he enjoyed going back to his youth. He was a member of the Centre Hall American Legion and belonged to an aviation club known as the Quiet Birdmen, of which he was very proud to be a part. He was also an active member of the University Park Airport authority for some time. During his later years, he and Carol enjoying driving their motorhome to Florida to winter there. He was a member of St. John's United Church of Christ in Bellefonte for many years and enjoyed singing in the choir and later joined Trinity United Church of Christ in Centre Hall.
John was preceded in death by his wife Carol and his sister Nancy and is survived by; his children William, Steven, and Diana, his brother Barry, seven grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter, all of whom he loved dearly.
The Kielty-Moran Funeral Home of Plymouth, PA has been entrusted with arrangements. We all loved him very much. God had truly gifted him with a sweet, gentle spirit and we will miss him always. A memorial service for John and Carol, to be announced, will be held to honor both of their lives which were filled with love and many, many cherished memories.
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Published by Centre Daily Times on Jun. 11, 2021.