Rev. David Gay Hayes passed peacefully from this earth at 83 years of age and went to be with his Lord on Sunday, April 19, 2020. His healthy life became compromised the last couple years with diabetes and apparent mini-strokes. During the past year he lived at the Rehoboth Oaks Assisted Living in Dorr, Michigan where he received excellent care. He was visited frequently by family and taken to church services every week.
David is survived by his adopted son, Randall Lloyd Boyer Hayes of North Dakota; his brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Cindy Hayes of Hopkins, Michigan; sister and brother-in-law Ruth Anne and Ronald Pitcher of Bangor, Michigan; sister MaryLee Hayes of Eagle River, Alaska; niece and nephew-in-law Shelly and Mike Geers of Dorr, Michigan; nephew and niece-in-law Joe II and Sarah Hayes of Martin, Michigan; and six grandnieces and grandnephews.
David was born in 1936 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and had a blessed childhood as the son of Anna Marie Swanty Hayes and Gay Finn Hayes. Most his upbringing was on his parent's Spring Brook Ranch, one mile east of Dorr, Michigan. David graduated in 1954 from the Wayland High School.
After David graduated from Bible School and the Seminary, he became the minister of many churches throughout his life, often officiating as pastor in two churches at the same time. He ministered in the state of Wisconsin, then moved to the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota where he resided for 18 years. He then relocated to become pastor at the Alliance Indian Church in Dunseith, North Dakota and at the First Baptist Church in Bottineau, North Dakota. He retired from the Bottineau Church about a year and a half before he died.
David was not one to sit around, and besides his ministry he took on other work, which included being chaplain at a nursing home, a janitor of a post office, and leader of a Boy Scouts group.
David enjoyed driving his car all over the United States, and he often took friends or family with him. He was very loyal to his vehicles, putting 680,000 miles on his 1990 Ford Mercury station wagon, which was his last automobile. A former car had been gifted to him by the Moline Baptist Church in Michigan that supported his ministry for many years, and that he always considered his home church. Also contributing toward the gift of this car was the Woodbrook Cathedral in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he was good friends with the pastor, Rev. J.B. Stutts.
David often displayed a good sense of humor, while living the Christian life in service to others. He embraced the words of his well-worn Bible (kept together with duct tape), that "It is more blessed to give than to receive." He will be remembered fondly by all his family, relatives, and many friends.
A Memorial Service will be announced and held in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Moline Baptist Church in Moline, Michigan, and the First Baptist Church in Bottneau, North Dakota.
David's final resting place on earth will be in the Sheep of the Good Shepherd Cemetery, which is near Allegan, Michigan. He will rest next to his parents and many other Swedish relatives, in this small cemetery surrounded by cows grazing in the field, and shaded by many old and beautiful trees.
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