Robert Hayes

Robert E. “Bob” Hayes, 94, passed away July 14, 2022 in California. 
Bob was born in Rapid City, S.D. Oct. 16, 1927 to J. Edwald and Gladys (Roberts) Hayes of Keystone, S.D. 
Bob received his primary and early high school education in Keystone and graduated from Rapid City High School in 1945.  After high school, Bob enlisted in the Army and started his college education at South Dakota State College in Brookings in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program (ASTRP).  
Upon reaching 18 years of age, Bob went on active duty in the Army Air Force and took basic training in San Antonio, Texas.  Following basic training, Bob was transferred and served as a radio mechanic during the occupation of Japan.  
After serving time in the armed services, Bob returned to college at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering in 1951.
Bob’s mining career took him to Idaho, Washington, New York, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado and ultimately California.  He took some early positions to learn more about “hands on” mining that contributed to his success as a mining engineer and eventually a certified safety engineer. 
Bob met the love of his life and his life-long companion of 49 years, Barbara Bates, in Pocatello, Idaho.  He took a position in New York City and Barbara followed him. 
They were married in 1957 and settled in Elizabeth, N.J. for four years, welcoming Karen and John into the family.  Here Bob was able to enjoy his love for baseball as it was still the home of the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees— attending many home games and several World Series and All-Star games at Ebbetts Field.
Bob was transferred to Colorado, where David and Nancy were added, completing the family.  Eventually the family moved to Bishop, Calif., where he and Barbara supported four children through their academic and athletic school activities and enjoyed ballroom dancing, square dancing and bowling in their “spare” time.  
Bob retired from Union Carbide in 1993 and he and Barbara moved to Keystone to spend the remainder of their time in Bob’s childhood home.
Bob had a literary hobby which included writer of the Holy Terror News in the Hill City Prevailer, for better than 17 years; free-lance writer specialized in Black Hills, Keystone and Mount Rushmore history.  
Bob grew up with Mount Rushmore as his father operated the aerial tramway during the carving years.  Bob worked for the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger for six seasons, three while in college and three after retirement.  A number of his stories appeared in South Dakota Magazine and Deadwood Magazine. He presented over 35 papers at the West River History Conference in Keystone and Rapid City and the Dakota Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. 
Bob was willing to volunteer his services and received numerous awards.  He was awarded the Eagle Scout Badge as a member of Troop 50 of Keystone and maybe the only Eagle Scout who was raised in Keystone.  He was a member of the Keystone Area Historical Society, twice serving as president. 
For four years he served as co-director of the West River History Conference.  He received the Volunteer of the Quarter for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), the Good Neighbor Award from the Keystone Area Historical Society, Keystone Masonic Lodge’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award and the 2000 Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of South Dakota and the Northern Plains.  His most prestigious award was the Melvin Jones Fellowship, also known as the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is named after the founder of Lions Clubs International and the highest award that a member Lion can receive.  
He was a Little League manager and coach for 10 years. 
Bob was a life member of the Elks Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, the Minnilusa Pioneer Association and the Custer County Historical Society.  He belonged to the South Dakota Historical Society and the Rapid City Society of Genealogy Research and the American Legion in Hill City.  He was a member of the senior citizens of both Keystone and Hill City.  He served as secretary/treasurer of the Keystone Chamber of Commerce for several years.  He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Keystone.  
He is survived by two daughters, Karen Hayes and Nancy (Bob) Burrus; one son, John (Margaret) Hayes; two grandsons, Brandon (Kelcie) Hayes and Daniel (Sophia) Parra; four granddaughters, Karri (Eric) Hight, Stefanie (Cameron) Lange, Tarah (Tyler) Simms and Lisa Hayes; and four honorary grandchildren.  He had been blessed with 16 great- grandchildren. 
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Judith; wife, Barbara; and one son, David.  
In lieu of flowers please donate in his name to your favorite charity.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Keystone.  Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Keystone. 

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