James Hayes

James Anderson Hayes Sr.

Thursday, February 9th, 1928 - Friday, July 24th, 2020
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It is with great sorrow that the Hayes Family announces that James Anderson Hayes, Sr, born on February 9, 1928, passed away on July 24, 2020 at Rapides Regional Medical Center.

Although he was born in Alabama and spent a short part of his life in Westpoint, MS, Jimmy, as his friends fondly knew him, was raised in Alexandria, Louisiana. He graduated from Bolton High School in May 1946. Soon after graduation he joined the US Army. Despite requesting to go to Alaska, he soon found himself fortuitously stationed at the Rodriguez General Hospital, adjacent to El Moro, San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, in the Occupational Therapy Unit, he would work beside the beautiful Obdulia Teodosia Rios and fall deeply in love. Teddy and Jimmy were wed on January 15, 1949 and shortly afterwards, returned to Central Louisiana.

“Who would have ever imagined that getting laid off would turn out to be the best thing that could ever have happened for my career?” Jimmy mused when asked about his life. In 1954 after becoming one of the most talented machinists at a local company, he was told that he was being let go. Devastated, but determined to continue using his new found skills, Jim decided to open his own machine shop. His quality work and uncanny ability to figure out mechanical problems ensured his success, and soon a steady stream of customers was greeting him at his make shift shop in his garage. Initially known as Economy Welding, Jimmy and Teddy later moved their business out of their garage to a new location with a new name, Hayes Manufacturing, a family owned business that is still located at 106 Pelican Drive.

After retiring from his business, Jimmy, an incredible natural engineer with a myriad of talents, spent the remainder of his life building and creating. Known for his honesty, generosity, and ingenuity, he eventually became known for his ability to repair and build clocks. Because of his natural engineering talents, if an antique clock was brought to him missing a part and he couldn’t order it, he would research the piece and build it himself. He was a true mechanical genius.

Left to cherish his memory are his four children, Bron Hayes and wife Susan. Clifford Hayes and wife Biela, James Hayes, Jr. and wife Cindy, and his only daughter, Sonia Chevallier, as well as a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jimmy was predeceased by his parents, James and Annie Hayes, his sister, Jane Copeland of Paris, TN, a son, James Michael, and his beloved wife Teddy.

The family will have a private graveside service on Monday, July 27, directed by Gallagher Funeral Home. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in his name to the American Welding Society, 318 Westshore Drive, Alexandria, LA 71303. A James Hayes Memorial Welding Scholarship Fund will be set up to aid aspiring young welders.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, July 27th, 2020 | 10:00am
    Monday, July 27th, 2020 10:00am
    Graveside Service Forest Lawn Memorial Park
    Hwy 165
    BALL, LA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Reverend Mark Breland
  • Interment

    Forest Lawn Memorial Park
    4000 Monroe Hwy.
    BALL, LA 71405
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Scott, Lara, Linda and families and Jason and Jenifer Rucker sent flowers to the family of James Anderson Hayes Sr.
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Anne Satterlee

Posted at 03:36pm
Dear Cliff and family we are so sorry for the loss of your Dad. This obituary was wonderful to read because he was such an amazing man and he left a wonderful legacy of successful work and loving family. Sincerely Anne and Stephen Satterlee

Larry Wells

Posted at 04:58pm
I am so sorry to see Jimmy has left us. I know that he is in a better place with Teddy as he was the most honest and always helping anyone. It is terrible that the virus doesn't allow regular funeral where his hundreds or thousands of friends can't pay our last respects.

Marsha Ann Voda Lloyd

Posted at 11:16am
Dear sweet Hayes family:
My heart is saddened to hear of Mr. Jimmy's passing. He and Mrs. Teddy will always have a special place in my heart. Our families have been 'family' all our lives so as I grieve with you, I call on God's love to cover us all with comfort and strength. I love y'all. ○♡○

Don Sanders

Posted at 08:42pm
Poppa Hayes was a legend in his own time. He was a humble man who cared deeply for his employees. He had a brilliant mind that I loved to prod. Once a week we would meet at the Dairy Queen for red beans and rice. It was an honor to know such a great man. He left his family a great legacy.
Don Sanders

Cheryl McBride

Posted at 07:34pm
What an extraordinary man and neighbor! Mr. Hayes left an indelible mark on the community and, especially, those of us fortunate enough to have known him and his family. His wonderful family and the contribution of his genius to the community will be his lasting legacy. May he Rest In Peace and May those that love him dearly be blessed by the many memories of him.

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