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’.


Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




    March 19, 2019

    There was nothing like a hug from John…tho’ lost track the last few years I thought of him often with great fondness and many fine memories …rest easy dear John

  • Jerry Roberts
    November 22, 2018

    Knowing John was a real honour. We had many laughs and good times together. Whether it was on our weekly trips to Rotary, or managing a kids baseball team together – we always had fun.
    We were travel partners on our bucket list trip to Africa – which is full of great memories
    of the experiences we shared.
    Good times with John will always be remembered.

  • Brenda Mitchelmore
    November 8, 2018

    Dear Marilyn and family,
    My dad Gordon Quan and myself were very fortunate to have met John during his stay at Ross Place. As anyone who knew John will agree he was one of a kind. Smart, witty, thoughtful and kind….he will be missed.
    Brenda and Dad

  • Bonnie Brandner
    November 7, 2018

    John was such a wonderful friend to my mom (Muriel Sallis)
    at Ross Place. Sharing the many challenges they both faced with their diabetes complications brought them very close to each other. They watched out for each other, shared many rowdy moments and laughter during their card games and even enjoyed Chinese Dinners out once in a while. John’s quiet and caring way helped my mom feel like he was part of her “family” at Ross Place. My sincere condolences to all his family.

  • Randi Dawson
    November 7, 2018

    Jaime and I got to know John through Ross Place. As my brother Bob mentioned he became friends with our mom, John was a highlight in our moms day. I know he looked out for her. Johns sense of humour, love of life and care for others will be greatly missed.

    John and I had many giggles together…so many great memories were created in such a short time.

    The three amigos, Muriel, John and Gord…..❤️

    Love Jaime and Randi Dawson

  • Bob & Eileen Sallis
    November 6, 2018

    I only knew John through his time at Ross Place in Victoria. John was an active member of the Tuesday card group, and was generous and caring to include Mom with their card playing activities. Mom (Muriel Sallis) was a strong willed person and she and John often let emotions run high during the games, but his caring side towards her was constant, and every day was a fresh start. For 3 years I made a monthly trip from Kelowna to visit Ross Place, and Mom was never happier. John was always looking out for her, making suggestions, causing small things to quietly be done so Mom had a good quality of life. When Mom had to be moved from Ross Place, John organized transport for himself and others to go visit her at the new care home she was placed in. John was a good friend to me, I loved his intellect, and his engaging manner. He will be forever be remembered as a good friend of Mom’s, and the whole Sallis family. May he rest in peace.

  • Yvonne Pelletier Paul
    November 6, 2018

    My condolences to the family. I didn’t know John well, however I did have the pleasure of getting to know him through Rotary and the Men’s Club, and learned of his reputation of being meticulous in all he did. I was also fortunate to arrange his trip to Africa with his other friends. I am sooo glad he got to experience that trip with Gerry, and friends, as part of his journey here on earth, as he spoke of it with fond memories. I wish his family peace and healing during this time. – Yvonne Pelletier Paul

  • Tony Fantillo
    November 5, 2018

    John was Mr Rotary at our Club…John was one of a kind…always thoughtful, generous and kind… He knew all the rules, the protocols, the finer points but most of all he was the strong, silent type. Everyone really enjoyed John’s quiet, purposeful demeanour. We missed him when he moved to Victoria due to medical situation and we continue to miss him now that he has left us…but he will always remain in our hearts…always thinking of you John…keep those books straight up there will you!!!

  • Catherine Joosten
    November 5, 2018

    We are saddened by the loss of cousin, John. He is fondly remembered by myself and my brother Hugh. Please feel our prayers and thoughts for all of you.

    November 4, 2018


  • Craig Gillis
    November 4, 2018

    John…..Mr. Daybreak Rotary….his legacy is a deep and rich one. We speak of him often—-and miss him greatly. As the club secretary for more years than I can count, I knew him to be the face of dependability….the font of knowledge…..of Rotary history and wisdom. He trained presidents year after year welcoming them to the time-lines, due dates, organizational protocols, big picture Rotary thinking……always in the background…..strengthening their leadership. In my year as president of the club, we always began the meeting with an anecdote relating to ‘Secretary John’….our way of honouring the remarkable contribution of ‘service above self’ that we all came to value so much. We all have our ‘John stories’…..which I think is truly what this life is all about—–those invisible strands—-those connections that exist person to person—-Rotarian to Rotarian—-and it is in the retelling of our stories that we remember how present he was in our lives—-a vital part of the family of Rotary . I look so forward to John’s Celebration of Life so that we can retell some of those stories and honour a man who meant so much to so many. With deepest sympathy—– Craig Gillis (District Governor Rotary District 5020)

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