Archie Leroy Hayes, 94, died Thursday, August 1, 2019, at Evergreen Hospice with family holding his hands.
He was born in Sheridan, Oregon as the middle child born to Elijah (Pat) and Agnes (Mae) Wade Hayes. They moved to the farm when he was five, by then sister Ethel had joined the family. His childhood ambition was to torment his siblings, especially older brother John. Both siblings preceded him in death.
His memories of his youth were idyllic. Over the years many stories were told of life on the farm, hunting, trapping, fishing and swimming in the Santiam River. His most treasured time, though, was the time spent with extended family harvesting the crops. Families would arrive and they would camp and pick beans. The evenings were spent eating pie and homemade ice cream. That reunion is still an annual tradition. If he ever had a hard day he would tell me his memories of days on the farm were enough to get him through.
While still in high school, Archie signed on to play for the Cincinnati Reds as a left-handed pitcher. His contract would not start until he served his military time. His proudest accomplishment was that he played in the minors. An injury to his pitching arm ended his career much too early.
Archie was an Army Veteran of World War II, receiving a Purple Heart. Recently he and nephew John traveled on an Honors Flight to visit the World War II Memorial, a moving experience for both of them.
Archie worked at Veal’s Furniture until the closing of the factory. He was proud of the work he did. He retired from the post office, because of his strong work ethic he was awarded employee of the month several times.
He married Bonnie Campbell in December 1969, she preceded him in death in November 2017. Bonnie came from a large family who loved and embraced him and he in return. He is survived by Bonnie’s sister, Edna Stam, and many nieces and nephews.
Uncle Art could’ve, would’ve fished every day of his life. If you could hold a pole you were fair game. We all remember some long days in the boat. His Pastor and fishing partner (one of many) Rob Nelke is going to miss their time together. Oh and he didn’t eat fish!
Archie was an active member of Jefferson Evangelical Church. He was loved and respected by so many people, always a joy to be around. A jokester and tormenter to the very end, if you knew him you loved him.
He is survived by nephews John (Kathwren) Hayes and Ralph (Janet) Hayes of Albany; nieces Sharon Hayes Boge (Lynn) of Salem and Elizabeth Wade of Ashland; and sister-in-law Lola Hayes of Albany. Lola and Archie knew each other 84 years, sharing a lifetime of memories. He was preceded in death by nephew Bob Waugh.
We would like to recognize Brookdale Assisted Living on Geary St. for loving him and Evergreen Hospice for granting him such a dignified passing. Uncle Art asked everyone for a million dollars and he finally found it at Evergreen Hospice.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 14, at Fisher Funeral Home. Please sign our online guestbook at www.fisherfuneralhome.com.