Joseph A. Hays, 78, of Truro died Aug. 31, 2019, at his home surrounded by family. Special thanks to St. Croix Hospice and Dr. Dixie Harms. A visitation was held 5 to 7 p.m., Sept. 5, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset with family present. A rosary will began at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will was 10:30 a.m., Sept. 6 at the church and was followed by a luncheon. Burial will followed later that afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Hopeville Cemetery, Clarke County. Memorials may be directed to the AMVETS and the Special Olympics. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.caldwellparrish.com.
Joseph Andrew Hays, son of Francis and Jenny (Bertoletti) Hays, was born Sept. 11, 1940, in Salem, Illinois. At the age of six, the family moved to Colfax. Joe received his education in the Colfax school system, graduating in 1959.
Joe married Ann Adams on December 30, 1961, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Osceola. They were blessed with four children.
He joined the Navy Reserves in 1973 and served 27 years, obtaining the rank of Navy Chief Petty Officer. He was active in AMVETS locally with Post No. 2 and also held state and national offices. Joe was also a lifetime member of the DAV.
He went to work for John Deere in 1959 as a hand-trucker on the night shift and later moved to the experimental department, where he was a mechanic, retiring after 36 years. He loved to travel for John Deere and met so many wonderful people. He also enjoyed hobby farming alongside his wife Ann.
Joe was a longtime member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys and was most recently a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Winterset. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, joining the St. Marys Council and later transferring to the Winterset Council. Joe was key in getting Saint Pope John Paul II to come to the Heartland in 1979.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Ann Hays of Truro; children: Mark Hays of Chula Vista, California, Theresa (Andy) Conner of Cumming and Ronda Jo (Jeff) Summers of Aurora, Colorado; grandsons: Chad Hays, Jason (Sarai) Hays, Devan Hays, Alex Summers, Joseph Summers, and John Summers; great-grandson Damion Hays; siblings: Marie (Jim) Burke, John (Carrie) Hays, Lee Hays, Alan (Mary) Hays, David Hays, Gerry Gilbert; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son Paul; sister-in-law Janie Hays; brother-in-law Roger Gilbert; and daughter-in-law Stacey Jean Hays.