Gerald Hayes, 84, Monee, Illinois

November 11, 2018

Gerald D. Hayes, 84, of Monee, Illinois, passed away Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at home.

Though our family is saddened by his death, we have no regrets for a life filled with immeasurable moments and memories we will cherish. Gerald aka “Jerry” or “Pops” had many talents and could fix anything, he was the one that taught MacGyver. Jerry seemed to have car trouble often but prided himself on fixing the car on the road. A gum wrapper, coat hanger and some bolt he took from a different part of the engine and he’d be back on his way. The stories of how he was able to do it brought much joy and humor. He could fix anything and had more knowledge than any book or website could offer. He embodied what hard work truly is. Jerry built garages, homes and buildings in the Chicago area and Wisconsin throughout his career. He was known to build a garage in a day. He expected others to work as hard as he did each day. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would frown, no breaks, 15-minute lunch, burning heat, freezing cold, work, work, work. This taught a life lesson to all that worked for him, hard work pays off.

Jerry developed a passion for Enduro racing after going to a race at Raceway Park, Blue Island, Illinois. He wasn’t interested in watching the race, he wanted to be in the race. He will always be remembered as car No. 48. He was often heard saying, “Let’s Go Enduro Racing!” He raced into his 80s on the Enduro circuit. His winter passion was snowmobiling, the older the sled the better, breaking down frequently but always making it home somehow.

Jerry was husband to Mary; and loving father to Josephine (Thomas) Heath, MaryBeth (Tim) Standiford, Gerald Hayes, Edward (Bridget) Hayes, William Hayes, Dianne (Gary Kowalke) Schoenoff, Frank (Julie) Hayes, Charles (Jillian) Hayes, Geraldine Hayes and Julie Hayes.

He was preceded in death by sons, Patrick Hayes and Jeremiah Hayes.

He is survived by a multitude of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He was the last member of his birth family, having survived his five brothers and three sisters.

A memorial service is being planned at a later date.

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