Neil Hayes Sr.
April 10, 1935 — March 23, 2014
Neil Hayes Sr., 78, passed away March 23, 2014, in SeaTac, Wash. He was born April 10, 1935, in Westwood, Calif., the son of Earl and Thelma Hayes. He graduated from Walla Walla High School. Neil married Delores Sams in 1957, enjoying 57 years of marriage in SeaTac.
He worked at Boeing for 10 years, and joined King County Fire District #2 as a volunteer firefighter in May of 1959. In 1966 he became a full time paid firefighter and later was promoted to the position of firefighter/inspector, the position he held until his retirement in 1993.
Neil enjoyed working in the community and served as president of the South Central Kiwanis for two terms during which he received the South Highline LL 1985 Sponsor Award for McMicken Majors. He served his community as a commissioner for Water District #43 for two terms and for many years was instrumental in creating and conducting the annual fire department Miss Flame event. In addition, Neil committed his time and service as a board member for area group homes for the handicapped. His weekly visits, annual holiday dinners and surprise Santa visits enhanced the lives of many children. His outstanding service to the community was recognized with several awards over the years including American Legions Department of Washington Firefighter of the Year, American Legion Certificate of Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Community and King County Fire District #2 Firefighter of the Year.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed camping with family and numerous friends. He was a golfer, a bowler and played baseball for the fire department’s team for many years.
Neil is survived by his wife, Delores; daughter, Elizabeth Ward; son, Neil Jr.; seven grandchildren; a great-grandson; and brothers, Dale Hayes of Richland, Jerry Hayes of Salem.
Memorial service will be held Saturday, April 12, 2014, at 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Burien, where he was a member for 22 years and held several chairs.