Jack Hayes, age 63, of St. Francis died March 22, 2019 at his home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, April 8th at Horizons Church, 1503 157th Avenue NE, Ham Lake. A time for visiting will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
John B. “Jack” Hayes was received into Heaven by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, March 22, 2019. He died at home in St. Francis, Minnesota with his loving wife, Polly, and family at his side.
Jack was born on January 12, 1956 in Hemet, California to Rex and Lois Hayes who preceded him in death in 2003 and 2008. Our “California Bear” overcame childhood rheumatic fever to become an accomplished woodworker and cabinetmaker at numerous high-end cabinet shops, most recently at INTERSCAPES, LLC., where he was surrounded by accomplished woodworkers and loving, God-inspired teammates. Jack had a passion for fine woodworking, surpassing the heritage and skill of his father and uncles, and made everything with love and precision, including the beautiful oak caskets of his much-loved father and mother. He was a 1974 graduate of Onamia High School, Onamia, Minnesota.
Jack met the love of his life, Polly (Pauline) Ebeling, in 1996 and married Polly on May 31, 1997, becoming the grateful and loving father of Tracey Johnson and Ian Ebeling. Polly and her family brought such joy to Jack’s life – he tenderly loved them all. On Valentine’s Day in 2019 Jack wrote to Polly: “I love you without reservation and you are my destiny.”
Jack loved shooting sports, competing with brother, cousins, and friends in “Top Gun” competitions at the family farm in Hillman. Always the top scorer, he was known for his insistence on fair rule observance and strict firearm safety. He was a great athlete, always the best skier on the slopes, the best water-skier, and the friend who was always up for an adventure. He was a reader, inhaling mysteries, books on religion, self-help, woodworking, and politics. He was a life-long learner and books were an adventure and a tutorial. One could always have a great conversation with Jack. He was never at a loss for thoughts, words, and insights.
Well-loved Jack was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in August, 2017 and suffered with his particularly difficult cancer for which there is presently no cure. He underwent a stem cell transplant procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Spring, 2018 which was not effective, and then underwent several different cancer chemo treatments with the help of his oncology team at Minnesota Oncology. But nothing was successful in stopping the spread of the tumors. We grieved with his oncology doctor, Dr. Ali, when she had to sadly tell him that his options had been exhausted.
At eight o’clock on that Friday night with the promise of spring in the air, Jack was peacefully called home by Jesus where he received rapturous greetings from his Lord, from father Rex Hayes, mother Lois Hayes, sister-in-law Glenda Hayes, mother-in-law Lucille Ahlman, father-in-law Gilbert Ahlman, and other saints in the family who have preceded him. He is survived by his loving wife, Polly, his son, Ian Ebeling and his family (wife Janna, grandchildren Logan and Lola), his daughter, Tracey Johnson and her family (grandchildren Levi and Grace), his siblings and their spouses and children: Rod Hayes (Judy), Barbara Bailey, Marilyn Phillips (Lem), brothers-and-sisters-in- law, aunts, cousins, and friends.
We will miss Jack’s non-judgmental spirit, his sense of humor, his pure tenor singing voice, his innate ability to mimic singers and humorists with uncanny physical and verbal accuracy, his devotion to his family, his Christian walk, his steadfast love for Polly and their children and grandchildren, and for his patient endurance during the long trial of his cancer. “Jack, you showed us grace and love in the midst of suffering and we love you now and forever. Until we meet again.”
“Precious in His sight is the death of His saints,” Psalm 116:15
So beautifully written. May the gentle peace of our Lord surround this loving family as they celebrate Jack’s wonderful life.
Blessings to you all and to you Jack.
Kathy Hoffman Tax says
I will always cherish the fond memories of growing up down the road from the Hayes family and in particular the homemade root beer fermenting and exploding bottles, Halloween scares as we came up the sidewalk, the joys and laughter of childhood. God gained a wonderful soul and he will be waiting for all of us when we get to Heaven. Keep smiling Jack. Kathy Hoffman Tax.
Nancy (Yorek) Jasper says
I cherish the memories of growing up in the neighborhood with Jack and the many others. Jack was a wonderful person and will be missed by all of us that had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in Peace Dear Jack. ❤
Barbara Bailey says
I will forever miss my youngest brother. We had many wonderful family times together and shared an incredible bond with each other. My heart breaks for Polly and her family as well as we siblings and our families. Brother Rod, especially, had such a close bond with Jack and has lost his “best friend.”
Matt and Denise Lugo says
We are so sorry for your loss. We didn’t know him but know some in the family. God Bless all of you in this time of sorrow. He walks with the Lord now and forever.
Neil L. R. Tate says
Since 1967, my path has crossed the path of the Hayes family many times.
My first connections with Jack began as we shared the Onamia school bus together for five years where we were the “first on in the morning and last off at night” as we lived the furthest from the school. The ride was long, bumpy, and tedious, but the good part about it was that a considerable part of the daily journey was along the beautiful west shore of Mille Lacs Lake to pick up the kids who lived at the resorts. As anyone who has ridden public school transportation can attest, all sorts of personalities are crammed on board from really cool kids to others that you spend your school time and the rest of your life avoiding. It goes without saying that Jack was a member of the cool group. A nice guy who always had a radiant smile and never indulged in the mean teasing that occupied so many other denizens of the bus. Jack could usually be seen using the bus ride to good advantage and was often hunkered over a book. He was the most voracious reader that I have encountered in life. Every book that I ever checked out of the Onamia H.S. library would have Jack’s moniker signed on the check-out card way ahead of me.
After graduation, other time I spent with Jack would occur when we would bring over loads of logs to the Hayes Sawmill, which was powered by a huge D7 Caterpillar bulldozer engine. Watching Jack’s father Rex start the behemoth was like watching a gladiatorial contest—first the gasoline pony motor had to be wrestled to life by hand cranking; then the gasoline motor would roll the big cold and balky diesel engine to life with clouds of smoke blasting forth from the exhaust stack accompanied by massive smoke rings and a rumbling that shook the ground. When the big brute was producing smooth power the danger really began. As Rex would slice through the lumber, Jack would feed logs to the carriage as well as run back and forth to the terminal end of the mill to stack the boards coming out. This trip involved the dance of doom over the wide drive belt that powered the blade where Jack had to step over the dangerous belt on a rickety step. A slip would send him into the machinery works. Many times the rickety step was covered with frost or snow, adding an extra dimension of danger to the effort. Jack told me about other near mishaps when his leather glove caught in the jagged teeth of the saw blade, tore the glove from his hand, and threw it across the yard. It was fortunate that the glove fit loosely and flew off his hand. Another episode involved a stack of two-by-fours being flung by the blade from the carriage and shooting across the yard like a machine gun firing a long burst of high-velocity harpoons. When I assisted as laborer on the mill, Jack’s advice on safety—gained by his near misses—served to keep me out of trouble.
I fully trust that Jack is now surrounded by family, good books, accurate firearms, and he and his father occasionally run some beautiful oak logs through the mill to produce gorgeous cabinetry. The Native Americans say that the passing of a man is like the ripples flowing across the surface of a pond to disappear on the far shore. Jack has left many strong and deep ripples flowing through our hearts. God speed Jack. God speed.
All of my best to the Hayes Family.