James Calvin Hays passed away peacefully in his sleep during the morning of October 31,, 2020 at the age of 92. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 70 years Harriet Hicks, and his two sons James Calvin Hays Jr., (Sharon Hinson), son Chris, (Debi), and his brother Charlie Hays and sister Barbara Hays Hall. In addition, his grandchildren include James Calvin Hays III (Betsy), Blaine Charles Hays (Barbara Ann), Hinson Christopher Hays (Ilona), Sharon Hope Hays, Cali Ruth Hays, John Hays, Nicholas Hays (Victoria), Rachel Reese (Kevin), predeceased grandson Spencer Frank Hays and seven great-grandchildren.
James (Jimmy) was born in 1928 in Macon and attended Lanier High School for Boys, graduating in 1946 and then studying Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech for the next four years. After graduating Tech in 1950, he was married in November to his high school sweetheart Harriet and moved to Schenectady, NY to work for GE. A few months later military service called, and he was sent overseas to serve in the US Army during the Korean War for 3 years. He was honorably discharged as a second Lieutenant, Ordnance Corps in 1953.
While at Georgia Tech, Jimmy was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society and also lettered on the GT Wrestling Team. He was also a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity and maintained many fraternity friendships throughout his life.
After returning from the Korean Conflict in 1953, Jimmy & Harriet decided to move into the family business of Hays Heating & Plumbing founded by his father Charles Gewinner Hays in 1945. He spent the next 60 years devoted to his family & family business, working with his brother Charlie and eventually his son Cal, who joined the business in 1977. Working together for over 35 years, they built the successful Mechanical Contracting and Service business in Middle Georgia.
Besides working in the family business, he and Harriet enjoyed many travels especially to Europe where they counted at least 17 trips across the pond to learn more about his ancestors in Scotland, Ireland and Germany. In their earlier days they were also known to spend time in Panacea, Florida and at the home at Lake Sinclair.
Of his many professional accomplishments over his career, none were more special than earning his Eagle Scout badge as a young teen. He was also selected as Engineer of the Year in 1990, as well as Vice President of the Macon Chamber of Commerce. He was very involved in several non-profits such as Habitat for Humanity, the Civitans, the Lions Club and served as a Macon Symphony Board member for many years. He is a lifelong member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
The Hays family extends their sincere thanks to the team of caregivers that have worked tirelessly with Jimmy over the past three years. Deborah, Baron, Valerie, Vanessa have been a real blessing to the family in their time of need. As well as the hospice nurses from Pine Point Hospice in Macon. In addition, the family would like to recognize Lilly Pearl Thomas, who has been a faithful and lifelong helper, child care provider, chef of southern cuisine, and kind and gentle spirit in the Hays family for over 50 years, especially loving ‘Mr. Jimmy’ for his kindness and thoughtfulness.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Masks are required at the funeral service. The burial service will be private.
Hart’s Mortuary and Cremation Center, 765 Cherry Street, Macon GA. Has charge of arrangements.
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