James Hayes

December 30th, 1935 to January 31st, 2010

James C. Hayes, 74, passed away from cancer on Sunday, January 31, 2010, at the home of his cousin, David Norris, in Lakeport, MI.

Jim was born on December 30, 1935 in Port Huron, MI. He attended St. Stephens High School, but left after the tenth grade transferring to St. Lawrence Seminary in Wisconsin. After high school he entered the Capuchin monastic order in 1953. He left the seminary in 1960 with a BA in philosophy and entered the U. S. Army serving two years before returning to school at Central Michigan University where he obtained a B.S. in Education. Mr. Hayes taught English and Latin at Grand Blanc High School from 1964 until 1975. He took a sabbatical for the 1971-2 school year to study art at what is now the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. He taught art for his last three years of teaching.

In 1978 he moved back to Port Huron to care for his mother, Marie Hayes, during her long battle with cancer. The following year he purchased ten acres in Jeddo, MI, and began construction of an energy efficient house which he had designed. During these years he earned his living doing cabinet making and construction work.

Mr. Hayes served on the Grant Township Planning Commission from 1991 until 1996. He was then elected Clerk of Grant Township, a position which he held until 2001. In 1998 he began working as a groundwater technician with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program of the Michigan Department of Agriculture in Lapeer, St. Clair and Macomb Conservation Districts. He loved his work and remained in this position until his final illness forced him to retire a few months before his death.

Jim Hayes, who never married, is survived by two sisters, Lois A. Stuart (Alan) of Plymouth, MI, and Ruth Hayes-Barba of Portland, OR, as well as 10 nieces and nephews, 15 great nieces and nephews and 9 great-great nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by them all.

Funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Edwards Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Visiting hours are 4-9 p.m. Monday and 2-9 p.m. Tuesday at Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home and from 10 a.m. until the service time Wednesday at church.

In lieu of flowers, Jim asked that donations be made to the St. Clair County Preservation Fund.

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