John was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 23, 1924. His parents were John and Vivian (Vilbert) Hayes. He graduated from Blewitt High School in St. Louis in January, 1941 at age 16. He attended Washington University in St. Louis on an academic scholarship, becoming the first member of his family to attend college. His Washington University education was interrupted when he turned 18 by his service in the Army during World War II, during which he attended the University of Michigan to study Japanese, which knowledge he used to serve as a translator during the War. He completed his B.A.from the University of Michigan in June, 1945. While proud of his Michigan degree, his academic heart always belonged to WashU.
John and the former Norma V. Blackwell were married in St. Louis on April 14, 1948 at Mt. Auburn Methodist Church. For many years John and Norma were devoted members of Bellefontaine United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis. John was active in church activities including visitation and teaching Sunday School. He also served as a baseball and softball coach at the Surrey Lane Athletic Association. John and Norma moved from St. Louis to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2000 to be near their children and grandchildren.
John was employed by McCourtney Breckenridge, an investment banking firm in St. Louis, for his entire career, which spanned over 50 years as a stockbroker and corporate officer.
He is survived by his wife, Norma; his son John (Carolee Burns) of Denver, Colorado and daughter Patricia (Richard Nashleanas) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; four grandchildren, David (Cynthia) of Denver, Heather (Thomas Taylor) of Seattle, Washington, Richard J. Nashleanas of Denver and Patrick Nashleanas of Dillon, Colorado; and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Martin. He will be interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver following a private service for the family.
John Hayes lived an exemplary life. He recognized his talents, and quietly and without pretense sought to use those talents for the benefit of his family and his community. He was an intensely proud and private person who sacrificed anything required to provide for a better life for his wife, his children and his family. He was greatly loved and admired, and he will be profoundly missed.