Hays William Owen "Doc" Hays, 102, of Griggsville, Illinois, and formerly Columbus, Ohio, passed away on Monday, January 25, 2016, in Quincy, Illinois. He was born May 12, 1913 in Columbus, Ohio to Charles Hays and Alice Manley Hays. He married Marie Akin on January 13, 1942, and she preceded him in death in 1999. Surviving Mr. Hays is his daughter, Donna Gail Hays of Cathedral City, California; sister-in-law, Dorothy Akin of Griggsville; and nieces and nephews, Charles Akin, Jr., Dean Akin, Larry Akin, Gene Lackscheide, Judy Zeller, Delbert Lackscheide, Linda Akin, and Elaine Hobson. Mr. Hays was a 1931 graduate of Bexley High School and until the time of his death was known as their oldest living alumni. Upon graduation he attended Ohio State University where he studied chemistry and was an OSU cheerleader. Doc was honored at an OSU football game where he got to take a bow and was recognized as the oldest living cheerleader alumni. Mr. Hays was inspired to study chemistry by his high school chemistry teacher and football coach Carlton Smith. He became a pharmacist, going to work after college for Nicklaus Pharmacy, owned by Charlie Nicklaus (father of the famous golfer). Later, he worked for Wendt-Bristol Pharmacy. "Doc" served in the Army during World War II in the China Burma India Theater, known as the CBI. One of his jobs was to fly around and scout locations for first aid stations. A story he likes to tell is of the day he was in the air and he and the pilot noticed that US planes on the ground were not camouflaged, as they usually were. Upon landing, they learned the reason: the war had ended. Mr. Hays was a 50+ year member of the Masons, Scottish Rite and Shrine, was a charter member of the Bexley United Methodist Church, and was an advocate and activist throughout his life for more "Humane Medication." Funeral Service for Mr. Hays will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 28, 2016, at the AIRSMAN-HIRES FUNERAL HOME in Pittsfield. Burial is immediately following the service in Hinman Cemetery where military honors will be accorded. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Thursday, also at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Hinman Cemetery. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.airsman-hires.com
Published by The Columbus Dispatch from Jan. 27 to Jan. 28, 2016.