David Howard Hays, 80

Published 7:13 am Tuesday, July 3, 2018

David Howard Hays, 80, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital.

David Howard Hays, 80

He was born Jan. 23, 1938, to Elton and Loretta (Graff) Hays. David attended Whittier grade school and Austin High School. David later served in the U.S. Army as a private first class from Jan. 1, 1960, to Jan. 18, 1964, working as a cook while stationed in Germany. After being injured during military service, he was honorably discharged from the Army as a disabled veteran.

After residing in California and Colorado for the next few years, David moved back to Austin, in 1966 and lived with his parents until their passing. He resided at Pickett Place and Sterling Court Apartments in Austin, and assisted living facilities in the communities of Leroy, Minnesota, Red Wing, Minnesota, and Farmington, Minnesota, in his later years.

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David was a fan of pro sports (Minnesota Twins and Vikings), loved photography, collecting family photos, classic movies, pop and country music, American Indian artifacts, Christmas decorations, reading history and western books and donating to various charitable causes such as Operation Smile.

David is best remembered for his friendly and positive personality. He was always ready to engage in conversation with local business proprietors, patrons, friends, neighbors and family. He was proud of being of the Hays family and, although he never married, had a great love for his siblings’ children and grandchildren.

David is survived by his sister, Ruth A. (Bob) O’Grady, Orange, California; nephews, Kelly (Jean) Hays, San Antonio, Texas, Kevin (Robin) Hays, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeffrey Hays, Austin, Chris (Mary) Hays, Jacksonville, Florida, and David (Carolyn) O’Grady, Orange; nieces, Holly Hays, Willowbrook, Illinois, Debra Soderberg, Laurie Hays and Susan Hays, all of Austin, and Ruth J. O’Grady, Orange; grandnephews, Greg Soderberg and Lee Soderberg of Austin, Cameron Hays, Madison, Wisconsin, and Mason O’ Grady and Cole O’Grady, Orange; grandnieces, Jillian Hays (Jourdan) Simmang, Austin, Texas, Sasha Hays (Andy Gardner), Modesto, California, Valerie Villegas, Willowbrook, and Cameryn O’Grady, Orange; great-grandnephew, Henry Gardner, Modesto; and great-grandniece, Aurelia Simmang, Austin, Texas.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Elton and Loretta Hays; older brothers, Richards Hays, Robert Hays and Everett Hays; and sister, Loretta Hays.

Graveside services for David will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minnesota, with military rites by American Legion Post 91 and VFW Post 1216. Condolences may be left online at www.mayerfh.com.