Kenneth Eugene Hayes

November 29, 1926 ‒ October 26, 2018

Galion, Ohio

Kenneth Eugene Hayes, 91, of Galion, Ohio, passed away peacefully in his home on Friday, October 26, 2018. Known affectionately as Ken, Kenny, Eugene, Gene, or Tex, depending on at which point in his life you met him, he was known by all for his sense of humor, passion for sports, faith in God, and love of family and friends.

Ken was born on November 29, 1926, at Good Samaritan Hospital to Damon Droll Hayes and Anna Mildred (Pfeifer) Hayes. He spent his childhood in Galion proper until 1943 when at the age of 17, he moved to an 80-acre farm on Brandt Road in Galion where he continued to live all his life.

After graduating from Galion High School in 1944, he worked briefly at North Electric and Galion Alsteel prior to entering the United States Army on March 2, 1945, to serve in World War II. Following his induction at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, he was deployed to Manila, Philippines and then to Yokohama, Japan where he served as a staff sergeant, responsible for driving military officers around the base and to various local sites. He was honorably discharged through Fort Lewis in Washington State on November 25, 1946.

Following his service, Ken returned to Galion and joined the Kroger Grocery Co. in 1947 as a grocery clerk, making 47 cents an hour. Through the years his hard work allowed him to progress from that initial role to store manager, successfully overseeing four different stores across Crestline, Galion, and Mansfield before retiring in 1990 after 43 years of service.

One of the highlights of his life was marrying Jean Eleanor (Blackford) Hayes on February 17, 1952, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in North Robinson, Ohio. Together, they managed the family farm and raised three children—David, Debra, and Dennis. The family enjoyed spending summers at Lake Erie with friends and their families.

Ken both loved and was beloved by his family and one of his favorite activities was hosting holiday get-togethers. During these events he would lead the family in euchre and domino matches, golf cart and snow mobile rides, basketball and baseball games, and fishing adventures. He also shared his passion for sports with his family and friends and was a die-hard Cleveland sports fan, always cheering on the Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavaliers. He was equally passionate about Ohio State sports, in particular Ohio State football, basketball and hockey and loved attending the games whenever possible.

His fondest memories with family and friends included attending Christmas Eve church services, spending time at the family condo in Fort Myers, Florida, and sharing his passion for trains and his multi-tiered model train layout. He was an avid supporter of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s endeavors, cheering them on at sporting events, band rehearsals, academic ceremonies and more, and occasionally getting reprimanded for his gusto.

A man with an incredible sense of humor and an enviable ability to laugh at himself, He will always be remembered for his unexplainable obsession with mowing the lawn, his ability to fend off family member attempts to get him to skip his favorite holiday meals, and any number of other mischievous antics he would attempt in order to amuse his family and friends.

In addition to his devotion to his family and friends, Ken was a dedicated member of First Lutheran Church in Galion and served in a variety of volunteer roles within the congregation. He had also been an active member of the local Kiwanis club.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Marjorie Anne and Joyce Eileen Hayes, and a brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law. He is survived by family and friends who will continue to remember, honor, and miss him in the years to come, including his wife of 66 years, Jean; children David (Christine) Hayes, Debra (Michael) Bing, and Dennis (Anita McDaniel) Hayes; grandchildren Alex Hayes, Austin Hayes, Brandon Hayes, Heather (Brian) Griesbach, Scott Bing, Ryan (Stephanie Morris) Bing, and Casey (Seth) Krabill; and great-grandchildren Nathan and Austin Krabill.

The family will receive friends from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes, 218 South Market St., Galion, Ohio 44833. Friends may also call from 10:00 am to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 31 at First Lutheran Church, 127 South Columbus Street, Galion where services will be held at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Adam Taylor officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Galion.

Full military honors will be conducted by the United States Army and the Galion Crestline Veterans Military Funeral Detail.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to First Lutheran church in care of the funeral home.

Richardson Davis Chapel of Snyder Funeral Homes in Galion is honored to serve the family of Kenneth Hayes, and condolences may be made to them at


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  • I always called him Gene, we were first cousins. What made us close was the fact that we had the same birthday Nov. 29 , (however Gene was 9 years older.)He will be greatly missed and very hard to replace.-

  • I was shocked to hear this news at Church this morning. Mr. Hayes has been so nice to me over the years that I have worked for him and Mrs. Hayes at their home . He was also a friend and classmate to my Mother, Bink. I always felt close to him since we both had the same birthday November 29th, a GREAT day. May he rest in peace. Thinking of all of you, he was so proud of and loved all of you.

  • Dear Jean and family,
    Please accept our condolences, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
    We will miss seeing him out on the mower or golf cart when working in the fields.
    Jeff & Lori Kocher

  • Dear Jean & Family
    So sorry to hear this news. You are in our thoughts and prayers! So glad we were able to see you at the reunion. Emery & Marge

  • Dear Hayes family,
    So sorry to hear of your Dad and husband’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Ruth (Marvin) Pierce

  • What a true gentleman Ken was. It was a real blessing knowing him from the time he was manager of the Galion Kroger store to seeing you two at the Galion “Y. A great couple to know. God bless you at this time.

  • Dear Jean and family,
    We are so saddened to hear of the passing of Kenny especially having just enjoyed seeing him at the 1944 GHS Class Reunion. It is hard to say goodbye to such a distinguished member of the community. He will always be remembered as a light hearted and good humored spirit with a quiet, strong leadership presence. Be comforted by the many friends and special memories shared by the ones close to you. We feel blessed to have known him.
    ❤️ Lee Anne (Ritchey) and Terry Shifley