Harold Dean Hayes, Sr., age 85, of Decatur, Nebraska passed away Thursday, November 30, 2017 at Memorial Community Hospital in Blair, Nebraska. Funeral services will be on Monday, December 4, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the Decatur City Auditorium in Decatur. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Decatur. Visitation will be held Sunday, from 4-6 p.m. with family receiving friends, and Prayer Service at 6 p.m. all at Pelan Funeral Services in Tekamah. Memorials are to the family for later designation. Pelan Funeral Services in Tekamah in charge of arrangements.
Harold Dean Hayes, Sr. of Decatur, Nebraska was born to Thomas Leo and Lillian (Busse) Hayes on October 16, 1932, on a farm in rural Decatur. He was the youngest of nine children. He passed away on November 30, 2017, at Memorial Community Hospital in Blair, Nebraska.
In his early years, he attended school in rural Decatur. After helping on the family farm, he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952, moving to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, KS. Harold worked as a crew chief on the B47 Bombers and was discharged in 1956 as a senior aircraft mechanic.
After his time in the Air Force, Harold married Mary Jane Walter at the RLDS Church in Decatur on May 25, 1958. Together they raised three children, David Dean, Patricia Ann and Harold Dean, Jr. Harold and Mary Jane spent all 59 years of their marriage as residents of Decatur.
Harold spent his career as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. He was a trusted business partner with several family members including his brother Glen, brother-in-law Joe, and sons David and Harold Jr. He loved his work and continued to help area farmers with dirt work until as recently as this spring.
Harold was involved in the Decatur community throughout his life. He was a member of The American Legion Post #215. He also served many years on the Decatur Volunteer Fire Department.
Harold was a gifted carpenter. Their home features many pieces he built from scratch. He made numerous gifts for loved ones including custom shelving, magazine racks, elaborate bird houses and many other hand-crafted items.
Time with family was highly cherished by Harold. He was always present at family gatherings and insisted in having as many family members present as possible. This past Thanksgiving was particularly special as he was surrounded by over fifty family members, including his entire immediate family.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers and sisters-in-law Maurice & Ruby, Glen & Mary Lou, and Charles; sisters and brothers-in-law Lucille & George Meade, Pauline & Melvin Updike, and Edythe & Clarence Svendsen; brothers-in-law Joe Walter, Gene Rollins and Robert Senteney; and sister-in-law Shirlene Hayes.
He is survived by his wife Mary Jane, his children David (Debbie) Hayes of Omaha, Patty (Randy) Olson of Tekamah, and Harold, Jr. of Decatur; his sister Irma Senteney of Omaha and brother Corwin Hayes of Blair; sisters-in-law Sylvia Rollins of Tekamah and Wilma (Dean) Hightree of Whiting, Iowa & many nieces and nephews; his grandchildren Adam (Mary Ann) Tranmer of Ponca, Carrie (Nick) Rosenberry and Kathleen Hayes of Omaha, Amanda (Scott) Reinhart of Albion, Dan (Amy) Hayes of Omaha, Abby (Brandon) Mathistad of Tekamah, Anders Olson of Norfolk, and Lydia (Kurt) Veitenheimer of Council Bluffs, IA; his great-grandchildren: Brooke and Rocky Languis, Tatum Tranmer, Violet and Margaret Rosenberry, Reed, Bennett, Lillian, and Elaine Reinhart, Mason, Jersey, Merritt and Campbell Hayes and Cade Mathistad.