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Willie Hayes

Willie Hayes

March 4th, 1937 - September 8th, 2022

Willie's Obituary

Elder Willie C. Hayes, affectionately known as “Nick” left this earthly life on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at Rose Arbor Place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was born on March 4, 1937, in Robinsonville. Mississippi. He was an only child. His parents were Lillie Buckley and John Hayes. At an early age, his mother passed, and Willie was raised by his grandmother, Gertrude Buckley.

On September 1, 1967, he met and married Rosie Jackson and they relocated to Covert, Michigan. They were married for 37 years. On August 8, 2004, he met and married Ernestine Jones and they shared eighteen wonderful years together before he went to Glory.

Elder Hayes accepted Christ and was baptized at an early age. He worked tirelessly in the church as a Sunday school teacher; he served on the deacon’s board, he was a janitor and he loved to sing in the choir. He loved the Lord with all his heart and soul. One of his favorite songs he loved to sing was “Lord, I Know You Been So Good.” His favorite song that he sang was “Father I Stretch My Hands to Thee.” He was an active member at Lily of the Valley Church under the leadership of Bishop Darryl K. Williams.

During Elder Hayes younger years, he was a Mason. He was fun loving, charismatic and had a genuine love for automobiles. He bragged about the Grand Torino Cobra that he owned. No one could out race him in that Grand Torino – this included the police! He was a great dresser, and you would often see him dressed in his best attire. He was a jack of all trades and in the winter months you could find him plowing the church parking lot as well as his friend’s driveways. He did not mind providing transportation to many people who needed to go to the grocery store or to doctor appointments. Elder Hayes was a prominent figure in the covert community as well as the surrounding communities. He was a true servant. He always provided service with a smile. Everyone knew him as Elder Hayes, Mr. Hayes, and Deacon or Reverend Hayes. He loved Kentucky Fried Chicken, butter pecan ice cream and Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie.

Elder Hayes is preceded in death by his mother, Lillie Buckley; his grandmother, Gertrude Buckley; his grandfather Jesse Buckley and his daughter Linda Hayes and his first wife Rosie Hayes.

Elder Hayes leaves to cherish his memory: His wife, Mother Ernestine Hayes. His children: Willie (Marie) Hayes, Jr., Lorraine Payne, Eairma Hayes, Lester (Naomi) Hayes, David Hayes, Theresa Hayes, Janice (James) Dawson, Melissa Hayes, and Melinda (Larry) Hatter; several grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as a host of friends, family, and "his Lily of the Valley Church family."

To view Willie's personal web page please visit www.starksfamilyfh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Filbrandt Chapel of Starks Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, 269-637-0333.

Service Details

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