James “Skip” Edward Hayes died on Nov. 22, at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah. He was 82 years old.
He was born Sept. 10, 1935, in Evanston to Theodore “Ted” and Genevieve Hayes. Thanks to his beloved big brother, Robert, he grew up hunting and fishing and he loved the outdoors.
As a child, Skip suffered from severe dyslexia, an unknown condition at the time. He was labeled “slow” and had to repeat both first and second grades. He grew up thinking he wasn’t very intelligent and he struggled all through his school years.
It wasn’t until decades later, when his 11-year-old son taught him to play chess and Skip started winning every match — that he realized he might not really be slow after all. He was, in fact, very bright.
Skip loved sports. He played football and basketball in high school and enjoyed shooting, archery and bowling; but, in his 30s, he found his true love — golf.
Golf wasn’t his only obsession. Skip loved everything automobile. He owned many different cars and trucks during his lifetime, from a ‘64 Mustang to a 2012 Kia Soul (complete with “Skip’s Muscle Car” bumper sticker).
He also had a thing for one-armed bandits and, being the high roller that he was, enjoyed playing the penny and nickel slots in Wendover. He had an uncanny ability to usually break even or walk away with more money than he started with, which often amounted to thousands … of pennies.
Skip had two sons: Todd, with former wife Peggy (Roberts), and Lance, with former wife JoAnn (Bruce). Being a big kid at heart himself, he loved to take his kids to the circus and the Utah State Fair, and take day trips through the Uintas, past Mirror Lake and ending with dinner at Spring Chicken Inn in Wanship.
During Todd’s early years, you’d often find the two of them headed to see the latest Disney movie at the Strand. It was during one of these movie nights that he met JoAnn, who happened to be running the ticket booth. And when Lance came along, the two of them enjoyed four-wheeling together, watching WWF wrestling, monster truck shows, and digging snow forts under Evanston’s famous snow drifts.
He worked for 22 years at General Chemical near Green River. Shortly after retirement he became reacquainted with an old girlfriend, Marilyn Dean, whom he’d dated more than 40 years prior. In 2004, they married and moved to Roy, Utah. Marilyn loved to travel, so they cruised their way to Alaska, Russia, Scandinavia, the Panama Canal and Hawaii.
He is survived by sons, Todd and Lance; former wife, JoAnn Hayes; grandson, Dallas Denton; and cherished friends, Si Hernandez and Althea Labrum.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; parents, Ted and Gen; brother, Robert Norton; and sister-in-law, Diana Martin.
A funeral service at Crandall Funeral Home will be at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Visitation will take place one hour prior, at 11 a.m. Interment will be at Evanston City Cemetery.
Online condolences and guest book are at www.crandallfhevanston.com.