John Ryan Hayes
November 15, 1944 – October 1, 2018
John was born November 15, 1944 in Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, B.C. to Harold and Mary Hayes. The youngest of three, John, very early on, proved that “still waters run deep.” If things were quiet or John’s big blue eyes were looking at you very innocently, you’d know something was amiss, like the time of the “burning closet caper,” an innocent result of the curiosity of a three-year-old wanting to see how the bellows worked in the fireplace, then throwing them in the bedroom closet when they caught fire. He came riding into the kitchen on his kiddy car, with the most incredible, innocent look on his face — it was his big blue eyes that gave him away.
John proved an extremely brilliant student, completing grade 1 in his kindergarten year in Cumberland, then breezing through the rest of his schooling in Campbell River, attending UBC at the age of 16. However, his proficiency for numbers took him in an unexpected direction, by enhancing his card playing abilities, and a great deal of his time was spent in Fort Camp, taking on the big boys. Needless to say, he survived and came back to C.R. a little older and much wiser. He decided to put his affinity for numbers to work in a much safer environment and found bookkeeping so much more satisfying, plus a steady income didn’t hurt either. His first job was with Gord Mason Motors, after which he worked for Steve Marshall Motors, Barry Brown Motors and then finally joined his sister, Marilyn, and brother-in-law, Al Grant, at Grant Signs as comptroller, helping to successfully navigate the business through more than one economic downturn.
John was a very kind, thoughtful and generous person, with a great sense of humour, who loved life to its fullest. He was a founding member of the C.R. Men’s Club as well as the Daybreak Rotary Club, serving both clubs for many years. He was extremely proud to have been part of the Daybreak Rotary Club committee that was instrumental in creating the Maritime Heritage Centre, and John exemplified the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
Back in the day, John was a great five-pin bowler and led our family team to a season win under huge odds. Plus Minnesota Fats had nothing on John when it came to executing his shots around a pool table. He definitely had fun.
John enjoyed golf, loved the camaraderie of tournament play, and always participated in the silent auctions that went along with charity tournaments. John was interested in keeping tabs on all sports events, but one he enjoyed most was attending the Campbell River Storm games, from their inception until his move to Victoria in 2014. Even then, he kept track of the team’s progress every season, through the Times Colonist, and managed to get to as many games as he could when the Storm came to Victoria. There’s no doubt he’ll still be watching them on their road to the Cyclone Taylor Cup in Campbell River this season, and we’ll be right there with him.
John got to go on a trip of a lifetime when he travelled to Africa with Daybreak and Noon Club Rotarians, and on these travels, he got to visit the village where the Daybreak Club were instrumental in providing running water — something that we all take for granted. His group tented, in style, under the stars on the African savannah, getting to see and hear the Big Five and more — listening to lions roar, seeing hippos lolling in a river nearby, walking among giraffes, getting hassled by baboons — an experience many of us will only dream about. Well, maybe not the baboon encounter.
John faced many challenges throughout his life with admirable strength, and kept his troubles to himself, not wanting to burden anyone, although they would have willingly helped in any way they could for such a dear son, brother, cousin, uncle, and friend.
In 2014, John moved to Victoria after tragically losing his leg from complications due to diabetes. Despite this huge change in his life, he carried on, as usual, finding a new home and creating warm and lasting friendships at Ross Place Senior Residence. He immediately got involved in card night every Tuesday, straightened everyone out with the rules, and carried on.
John passed away suddenly, but peacefully, October 1st, 2018, in Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, BC. He is lovingly remembered by his brother, Harold and wife, Linda; his niece Linda and family; nephews Brad and Doug and family; his sister, Marilyn, and his niece Christine and family; the Edgett, Lilburn and Reeve families; many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews; his Ross Place community; and many dear friends both near and far.
The family is so grateful to all the doctors, first in Campbell River and then in Victoria, as well as nurses, caregivers, dialysis technicians, the staff at Ross Place and all his friends, for your exceptional care and compassion.
In just a moment he was gone, but a lifetime of memories linger on… Rest in Peace, Jo’.
Despite John’s wishes that a Celebration of Life wasn’t necessary, the rest of us feel very strongly that he deserves a good send off. Consequently, stay tuned — we will be planning it for the spring, to allow family and friends from afar to make arrangements. The time and place will be announced in the early part of the New Year. It’s going to be a big one!!!!
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Brenda MitchelmoreNovember 8, 2018
Bonnie BrandnerNovember 7, 2018
Randi DawsonNovember 7, 2018
Bob & Eileen SallisNovember 6, 2018
Yvonne Pelletier PaulNovember 6, 2018
Tony FantilloNovember 5, 2018
Catherine JoostenNovember 5, 2018
ELISABETH PORTMANNNovember 4, 2018
Craig GillisNovember 4, 2018