John Marion HayesJune 23, 2017
John Marion Hayes of Charlotte, NC, died June 23, 2017, at the age of 101. He was preceded in death by his wife of over 75 years, Maxel (Johnnie) McCain Hayes. The son of Sheldon and Florence Beaver Hayes, he was born on a farm in the Bethel community of Lancaster County, SC, one of 10 children. He is survived by his son Richard (Diane) Hayes and daughters Rozanna Lawing, Judy Corbett, and Linda Youngblood; grandchildren Rick Hayes, Jim Hayes (Ana), Alisha Youngblood-Ortiz (Silvio), John Youngblood (Beth), Jessica Haverkock (Holger), and Chris Linker (Auntouch); great-grandchildren: Andrew Youngblood, Amanda and Alex Hayes, MacKellan and Arlo Averett, Mila and Ryker Haverkock, Steven Linker, and Mitchell Smith; and great-great grandchild Mason Smith. He is also survived by his sister Louise of Lancaster and a host of nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved.
During WWII Mr. Hayes worked in the shipyards in Norfolk and also worked at the Naval Ammunition Depot, which was located on the property now known as Westinghouse Industrial Park. Following the war, he worked as a finish carpenter for several building companies. His attention to detail and persistence in the pursuit of perfection placed him in high demand. He loved his work and expected all who worked under his supervision to meet his standards. Even after he retired, he was often called back to handle jobs no one else could do.
He loved everything about living and never lost his curiosity about the world around him, a passion he instilled in his family. He and his wife traveled frequently around this country that he loved, always looking for the next horizon, always finding beauty and wonder wherever they went. For fourteen years, they lived on Oak Island, where he daily noted changes in the sea and shoreline during their walks. When they returned to Charlotte to live, by then in their eighties, the first thing he did was plant trees. He saw it as his responsibility to God and the earth to take care of all that was around him.
However, the center of his life was his family. His wife was both his partner and the love of his life. He was a devoted and careful father, patient and kind. He considered his family his greatest achievement and was proud that he raised independent children. Good-natured and gentle, he delighted in telling stories (If you were around him more than five minutes, he could get in at least one good story and start another before you knew it was happening.), fishing, gardening, reading, and spending time with his wife and family.
Mr. Hayes will be remembered at a memorial service at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 9401 South Tryon Street, on July 8 at 1pm. A reception will follow in the Family Life Center. He served the church for many years in various capacities such as Sunday School teacher, elder, elder emeritus, trustee, and scout leader. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Building Fund.