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James L. "Jim" Hayes

August 16, 1939 November 23, 2018
James L. "Jim" Hayes
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Obituary for James L. "Jim" Hayes
James Leon Hayes, 79, of Harrisburg, IL passed away November, 23, 2018 at Harrisburg Medical Center surrounded by many of his loved ones.
He was born August, 16, 1939 in Okemah Oklahoma. Born to the late Oya Jerald and Lois Genevieve (King) Hayes. He was one of five siblings. On May 28, 1966 he married the late Elizabeth (Bette) Anne Love.
Jim attended Tonkawa high school where he was involved in a variety of sports including wrestling, football, basketball, and baseball. He went on to earn a football scholarship to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL in 1961. He played two years as linebacker, earning his nickname “The AXE”, for his aggressive style of play. He was also a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Jim graduated in 1962 with a degree in education. He remained a huge supporter of SIU for the remainder of his life. He went on to begin a successful career as an English teacher and coach at two northern Illinois towns, coaching everything from bowling to football, where he still has the highest winning percentage as a coach for the Macomb Bombers. His 1964 Bradford Panther team is considered by the “old timers” as the best team in history of the school, going undefeated at 9-0, only giving up 6 points all year. He also has the second highest winning percentage all time for the Panthers. He finished his football coaching career with a 78-32 record.
Jim began selling cars as a part time job in the summers while still in the teaching profession. He sold for a gentleman named Bill Reynolds, who became his mentor. Jim ended up becoming the top salesperson at the dealership with his quick wit, charm, and charismatic style that he became known for until the day he passed. Jim found an opportunity to open a dealership in Harrisburg, and in 1976 he moved his wife and two young children south and Jim Hayes Inc was founded. What started as a business with three employees has grown to over 40 employees. Many of the members of the Jim Hayes team being long term employees, and annual sales of as many as 1500 cars or more. Jim has always thought of his employees as part of his family, and maintained a relationship with many who moved on to other careers. With the success of his business, it allowed Jim to become a local philanthropist, who was always willing to give to anyone in need, usually without and fanfare or recognition.
He has been involved with many organizations, including being a founding member of the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, American Legion, SIU Alumni Association, Ducks Unlimited, Second Team, Jolly Boys, and was on the HMC board for many years, ultimately becoming the Chairman of the Board. Jim felt very passionate about his community, some of the organizations he supported were the Four C’s homeless shelter, golden circle, Harrisburg medical center, Harrisburg schools, HPD, Harrisburg Fire Department, SIC, SIU, John A Logan, CASA, Hospice, The American Cancer Society and usually any and all who needed funds raised or were affected by the fire or any other personal tragedy. His caring heart was open to everyone.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Stacy Wasson and son, Jamie and wife Donetta Hayes; grandchildren Rachel and Taylor Wasson, Dymin, Kruz and Zayne Hayes; longtime companion Jennifer Richey; brother and sister Jerry Hayes and Pat Townsley; as well as an Aunt, nieces, nephews, many cousins and close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Bette Hayes and two siblings, Jack Hayes and Sondie Ansivino.
Services will be held at The First United Methodist Church in Harrisburg. Visitation will be held Friday, November 30th, 4:00-8:00pm. Funeral will be Saturday, December 1st at 11:00am. Burial to follow at Sunset Lawn Cemetery in Harrisburg.
In lieu of flowers or gifts we would appreciate donations to one of the two passions Jim had: Harrisburg Medical Center Foundation or The 4-C’s homeless shelter of Harrisburg.
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4:00 PM 11/30/2018 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 11/30/2018 8:00:00 PM
Harrisburg First United Methodist Church

West Poplar St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946

Harrisburg First United Methodist Church
West Poplar St. Harrisburg 62946 IL
United States





11:00 AM 12/1/2018 11:00:00 AM
Harrisburg First United Methodist Church

West Poplar St.
Harrisburg, IL 62946

Harrisburg First United Methodist Church
West Poplar St. Harrisburg 62946 IL
United States

Cemetery Details


Sunset Lawn Cemetery Final Resting Place

Harrisburg, IL 62946

_ Harrisburg 62946 IL
United States

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