Grace W. Hayes, 99, of Mesa, Ariz., and formerly of Rangely, Colo., passed away Oct. 4, 2014, in Mesa. She was born in Lincoln, Neb., on Aug. 2, 1915.
Grace was graduated from Newcastle High School in Newcastle, Wyo. She was married to Ralph Raymond Hayes on July 4, 1935, in Leftbridge, B.C., Canada.
Ralph and Grace were owners with their son, Jerry, of Twin Arrow Drilling in oil and gas production in Rangely. They also owned the Twin Arrow Motor Lodge, which supplied rooms for many visitors to the community as well as a place for many local sheep herders to stay. They later brought in the town’s Montgomery Ward store, where their sons, Jerry and Stan, and daughter-in-law, Loyann, served the Rangely area. She also worked for the U.S. Post Office in Rangely and went on to be the postmaster in Dinosaur, Colo., before retiring.
Grace enjoyed traveling. She went with friends and family to places like Spain, Hawaii and Mexico, and, with the Colorado Welcome Center, to most of Colorado. She went often to Wyoming and Nebraska to visit family members.
Grace enjoyed doing philanthropic work through her sorority as a lifetime member of Epsilon Chi No. 1836 and the Rangely Chapter of Eastern Star. She was also a member of the Rangely Christian Church, a recent member of the East Mesa Christian Church as well as a volunteer at Colorado Welcome Center in Dinosaur, where she logged in more than 1,000 hours.
She and Ralph and her sons also helped with bringing in Rangely College in 1962, now known as Colorado Northwestern Community College, to provide higher education to the children of the Rangely area.
They made many donations to the oil and gas program as well as the flight program. Because of their dedication to these programs, the building at Rangely Airport was dedicated to the family and is known as the Hayes Building.
Grace enjoyed her grandchildren. Many evenings were spent playing pinochle with family and, in later years, she enjoyed a game of Skip-Bo. She loved having family over for a Sunday meal or just stopping by for her freshly cooked oatmeal cookies and a visit.
She loved working in her yard, planting flowers, roses and a garden. She may have been the only one in Rangely to grow a peach tree and grapes, which she made jellies out of to give to people. Some of her best jelly was choke cherry, having picked the berries on Douglas Pass.
Grace worked for the U.S. Post Office in Rangely, and went on to be the postmaster at Dinosaur, Colo., before retiring. She was a member of Rangely Chapter of Eastern Star, a lifetime member of Epsilon Chi No. 1836, a member of Rangely Christian Church and a volunteer at Colorado Welcome Center in Dinosaur, where she logged in more than 1,000 hours. She most recently was a member of the East Mesa Christian Church.
Grace was preceded in death by: her husband, Ralph (1994); and her son, Jerry (2010).
She is survived by: her son, Stan; her daughter-in-law, Loyann; her grandchildren, Beckey (John), Mike (Tracy), Beth (Cleve), Katreena (Jeff), Doug (Cindi) and Dirk (Carla); her great-grandchildren, John (Willi), Jaime (Corey), Laurie (Terry), Shelby, Hillary, Courtney, Alyssa, Keaton, Kalab, Lindsay (Brandon), Lesli (Heath), Krysten, and Kelli; as well as her great-great-grandchildren Skyler, Landon, Camron, Chloe, Casey, Adywen, Alyssa and Brennon.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Grace at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, at the Rangely Christian Church in Rangely. Please visit www.melchermission.com to share memories and leave condolences.