Jack Dempsey Hayes of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, went to be with the Lord on March 28, 2023, at the age of 92. Jack was born in Washington, Oklahoma, on August 15, 1930, the son of Ernest and Essie Hayes. He grew up in Purcell, Oklahoma and attended Purcell High School, where he played basketball and was the Catcher on the baseball team.
Jack went on to attend Oklahoma State College, formerly known as Oklahoma A&M. He later joined the Air National Guard, and soon after began his career at Tinker Air Force Base. During his time at Tinker, Jack was the liaison between the mitigators and the manufacturers of the fighter planes. He thoroughly enjoyed his career, retiring after 43 years of dedicated service. Jack was a 32nd degree Mason and was a member of both the Jones and Moore Masonic Lodges for 50 years.
On March 28, 1963, Jack married his love, Melba, in a lovely ceremony in Oklahoma City. Together, they had six children: Jack, Ronald, Illa, Terry, Janis, and Kathy. Jack and Melba were active, longtime members of the Selecman United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.
Jack enjoyed golfing, gardening, and his lifelong love of sports stayed with him throughout his life. Loyal to his alma mater, Jack was an Oklahoma State Cowboys fan, while Melba was an avid OU Sooners fan, making game days in their house quite interesting and action-packed. He enjoyed traveling to the Fuller Farm in Minnesota each year during the Fall, where he loved riding the tractor and plowing the fields, returning in the Spring to plant his crops. Due to his green thumb, church leadership at Selecman asked Jack to supervise and maintain the church’s garden, which he loved doing. Jack and Melba enjoyed traveling together as well, and throughout their marriage, had several opportunities to travel all over the United States with Jack’s job. Above all, family mattered most to Jack. He was a devoted husband to Melba and a wonderful father to his children. Jack especially treasured the time spent with his many grandchildren, all of whom he adored. He always enjoyed the times the whole family could be together and loved family cookouts, which always featured Jack’s delicious smoked meats. Jack also loved competing in his church’s chili cookoff every year.
Jack never met a stranger, and he could have a conversation with anyone (and often did). He was so friendly and outgoing, making new friends wherever he happened to be. His love and compassion for his fellow man was evident in his actions - Jack never shied away from an opportunity to help someone in need. His zest for life, his warm, welcoming personality, and dedication to his family were inspirational to many. Jack will be very dearly missed by all those who were lucky enough to have known him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and one son, Jack Hayes.
Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 60 years, Melba Hayes, of the home; five children, Ronald Dale McCubbin and his wife Cindy of Oklahoma City, Illa Jean Fuller and husband Raymond of Monticello, MN, Terry Rowden and husband Curtis of Blanchard, OK, Janis Meters and husband Russ of Mustang, OK, and Kathy McNallan of Bethany, OK; along with 21 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, and many more loving extended family members and friends.
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