William D. Hays

William D. Hays passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, after reaching the age of 82-years-old. No services are planned at this time. Condolences can be made to www.aspefh.com.

He was born in Petaluma, Calif., on Dec. 5, 1938, Bill, the son of the late Thomas W. Hays and Daisy (MacKillop) Hays. He was never married and had no children but lived a very full life.

Bill was a proud American and was a decorated Staff Sergeant for the U.S. Army, which included tours around the world. He spent time in Germany and reminisced of being an interpreter during the time Jimmy Carter was President while the Panama Canal was being renegotiated.

You could use the term exceptionally smart to describe Bill and he was fluent in several different languages, which he went to language school in the Army along with further teaching himself to master all. Bill also spent time in Jacksonville, Fla., serving in the National Guard. At the time Bill oversaw the only helicopters carrying live ammunition to guard the Florida coast from the drug cartels. To this day not many people are aware that Bill could also fly the helicopters.

As an avid skier Bill was the head of the ski patrol on Spruce Mountain for over eight years, located in Stowe, Vt. These were epic years for him and he would often share tales of his “glory days” from this time. He had many addresses spanning from his time in California, to Boonton, NJ, Tuckahoe, NY, Stowe, Vt., Jacksonville, Fla., to be closer to his mother, Daisy, during her final days, and retired to his home in Shelby, Mont.

Bill had a passion for trains and was considered an expert in this area. It was noted, “he is on the railroad express train to heaven.” We certainly would love to take comfort in thinking this was the way he crossed over. 

Another passion was his love for all things American made and Bill always owned a Ford Mustang and truck throughout all years of his life.

He loved a good Klondike bar and would never turn down Arthur Avenue bread with a side of anchovies. He also grew up with a love for Boston Terriers and cherished his beloved pets, Beanie, Gregory and Buster. 

Bill leaves behind his nephews, Holbrook (Tammara) Hays, and Thomas (Debbie) Hays; niece, Lisa (Rick) Duvall; and many nieces and nephews, as well as beloved family and friends. Bill also leaves behind many distant relatives in Florida, Nova Scotia and Alberta, Canada. He also leaves behind his companion, his cat, Donald.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Thomas Mackillop Hays; and sister-in-law, Sonya (Wright) Hays.

Bill will be missed tremendously by all and will be remembered for his fierce love for his country and his family. As every conversation with Bill would conclude, “William D. Hays, Out.”