He was born Sept. 11, 1921, in Williamson, WV the son of Leonard & Mamie (Charles) Hays.
He was an electrician and retired from Peabody Coal Co. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the United Mine Workers of American and was a 1939 high school graduate Williamson High School. He was a Navy veteran of World War II, where he served as a Scouts Raider, that later became the Navy Seals, a lot of his time was spent in China.
Survivors include four children, Vicki Veach, Corbin, KY, Linda Leigh (Ken) Huff, Sullivan, James R. (Patti) Hays, Linton, Chris T. (Brenda) Hays, Sullivan; eight grandchildren, Trent and Tracy Padgett; Laura and Brian Veach; Shawn Hays and Christina Martin; Travis and Austin Hays; four great-grandchildren, Lindsey, Logan, Kaleb and Hunter.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Laura Ruth (McDonald) Hays; daughter, Jymme Jo Padgett.
Funeral service will be at Welch & Cornett Funeral Home in Linton, 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 18 with Pastor Gary Larimer officiating.
Friends may call at the funeral home from 4 p.m. Tuesday until time of service.
Online condolences can be made at www.welchcornett.com.