Charles F. Hayes, 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Christmas Day, 2019, with his family by his side. Beloved husband of Helen R. Hayes who preceded him in death, father of two boys, Ted (Elizabeth), Tom (Shari) and grandfather of four, Madeline & Joe, Johnny & Rosie.
Charlie was born November 15, 1930, in Fresno, CA and grew up in Bakersfield, CA. A 1949 graduate of East Bakersfield High School he attended Bakersfield College and UCLA. Summers were spent working with family at Longacres Race Track in Seattle, the Southern Pacific Railroad Co. and the U.S. Forest Service in Porterville, CA. He was active in High School swimming, track and football and was Sr class vice president.
While serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Chuck was assigned to the USS President Hayes. He joined the United States Air Force in 1952, married his sweetheart Helen in 1955 and started their new life together in Bangor, Maine. Together they traveled the world and lived in exotic places. Newfoundland Canada, French Morocco, Thule Greenland, Manila Philippine Island, Adana Turkey were home at one point or another. He was a Master Navigator/ Instructor of KC-97 and KC-135 tankers stationed at Dow AFB, Maine and Castle AFB, California. Transferred to Incirlik Airbase, Turkey in 1965, he became the Chief of Safety responsible for directing the overall base safety programs, including missile, nuclear, explosives, flying and ground safety achieving the lowest accident and injury rate in the entire command.
In 1967 he was transferred to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and was assigned Chief, Missile/ Nuclear Safety, responsible for managing the overall nuclear and missile accident prevention program and directing missile launch operations on the base. Major Hayes retired from the military in 1972 and moved his family to the Pacific Northwest, where he had previously spent several summers growing up.
He started his second career in Olympia, WA. As the director of the Washington State Traffic Safety Commission, he and his staff were responsible for increased penalties for DWI, open container law, mandatory child restraint law, mandatory seat belt law and mandatory motorcycle helmet law among others. He retired from state service in 1994.
After retirement Charles and Helen continued to enjoy their home and neighborhood in Olympia, sailing Puget Sound, skiing, and entertaining their grandchildren. In 2017, after Helen’s passing, he relocated to a retirement community in Gig Harbor, WA to be closer to Ted and his family. He enjoyed family dinners out on Fridays and Sunday dinners at Ted and Elizabeth’s house along with numerous adventures throughout the years; the annual floatplane trip to a floating fishing lodge in Canada, a trip with his granddaughters to Canyon Ranch Spa in Tucson, AZ and lots of local trips including Hamma Hamma Oysters and Seabrook at Pacific Beach. One of his highlight events was celebrating Helen’s birthday this past year at Canlis in Seattle.
Charles was a special person, was loved, and will be missed by many. When asked if there was anything he wished he had accomplished during his life, he responded that he had accomplished everything he was capable of.
A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held on Saturday, February 15th, at 11:00 am at Haven of Rest, 8503 WA-16, Gig Harbor, WA 98332.
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