Raymond Douglas “Booty” Hayes passed away in his sleep in Gastonia, North Carolina, on February 24, 2018 at the age of 83.
Raymond is survived by his wife, Clara Poole Hayes of Gastonia, elder son and wife, Kim and Jane Hayes of York, daughter and husband, Sandra and Eric Carter of Cherryville, younger son and wife, Matt and JoAnne Hayes of Gastonia, six grandchildren; Palladin, Shannon, Lindsey, Liam, Sophia, Natalie, and one great grandchild, Aubrey .
Raymond was born on Dec 17, 1934 in Gastonia, NC to Robert and Lena Hayes. He graduated from Ashley High School in 1952 and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War aboard the destroyer USS Gherardi as a SF1 (Ship Fitter First Class).
He married Clara in 1960 and settled in Gastonia where he was employed by Public Service of North Carolina. During his 35 year career with Public service, Raymond became a Pipeline Welding Inspector who spent much of his time in the field building out pipeline infrastructure in the Southeast United States.
He is loved and remembered as a generous father to his children and a mentor to the many with whom he worked in the field.
Raymond was a Shriner, an avid fisherman and hunter as well as a devoted Christian who attended Love Memorial Baptist Church where he served on the Board of Deacons.
With a snow white beard and a twinkle in his blue eyes, he enjoyed playing the part of Santa with his wife Clara as Mrs. Clause, where he found great pleasure in fulfilling the Christmas dreams of many children. He found it hard to resist dressing in a red shirt while out in public and winking at wide-eyed children with a subtle “Ho, Ho, Ho”. Wherever he went, he was a treasure throughout the year and the center of attention during December.
Booty secretly pulled for Duke in basketball and enjoyed watching a race on Sunday afternoon with his eyes closed. He is fondly remembered as a friend, a counselor, a mentor, a cheerleader, a facilitator and the sage voice of reason. He was quick to offer support with a familiar, “I’m on your team”. The other guys were “cats” and if you told him you liked his tie, he was apt to take it off and give it to you.
A visitation will be 1:00 – 3:00 pm Tuesday February 27, 2018 at Love Memorial Baptist Church. Funeral service will follow at 3:00 pm with Pastor Mike Criswell officiating. All are welcome to attend and celebrate the life of a remarkable man. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Love Memorial Baptist Church 311 East Walnut Ave. Gastonia, NC 28054. Condolences may be sent to www.gaskinservices.com