SURPRISE — Thomas R. Hayes, 81, died peacefully at his home in Surprise on May 13, 2019.

Mr. Hayes was born to Geoffrey and Minnie (Evans) Hayes and grew up in Trion, Georgia, as the youngest of 13 children. At age 17, he joined the Army and proudly served for 20 years, earning a Bronze Star Medal during his tour in Vietnam from July 1968 to June 1969.

After his years of military service, he went on to earn an associate degree from a business college. He moved to Coolidge and took a job at Sutton Oil before eventually accepting a position with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, working for 11 more years before entering retirement. He then enjoyed trips to Laughlin, Nevada, Trion, Alaska, Disneyland and Walt Disney World. He also actively collected coins and stamps.

On Aug. 2, 1958, he married the love of his life, Patricia A. Quinn. He affectionately called her his special angel and the couple enjoyed over 50 years of marriage. She died in March 2012. He is survived by three sons and a daughter, Joseph, Thomas, Catherine and Robert; a sister, Dee Owens; and seven grandchildren.

Graveyard service at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 3, in National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix.

Contributions may be made in his name to Hospice of the Valley or St. Jude's Children's Hospitals.

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