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A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant, IA, with Reverend Trey Hegar officiating. The family will greet friends in the church fellowship hall following the service. Final resting place will be with a tree on the family farm. Gifts of love and friendship may be given to Friends of Port Louisa or Hospice of Washington County. Olson~Powell Memorial Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be directed to www.olsonpowell.com.
He may not have worn a cape or a symbol on his chest, or had a batterang on his hip, or commanded the Galactica, but the world lost one of the good guys. Family was always first for Russ. Always. He was a wonderful husband, son, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, colleague and coach.
Russ was born May 5th, 1961 to M. Jane (Mellinger) and Harold F. Hayes. He grew up in Oakville, IA, where he developed a love of sports, superheroes, and reading, especially Stephen King. M-O-O-N, that spells Russ. He graduated from Wapello High School in 1979 and went on to earn a BA and teaching certificate at Central College in Pella, IA.
At a disco he met the love of his life. Russ and Monie LaFrance (Wilson) Hayes married in Burlington June 14th, 1986. They danced to the Beatles and wore identical wedding bands for the next nearly 33 years.
Russ set the example of how to be the best dad ever. He was the proud father of Sally and Maya, spending countless hours coaching their softball and basketball teams, cheering on the marching band, teaching them how to drive and discussing Batman, X-Men, and Justice League. More so, he instilled a desire to leave the world a better place, to be strong and just when it isn't the easy option, to be kind and generous, and to live a joy-filled life.
He was a loving, kind man. He wasn't one vying for awards and accolades. Russ didn't want the limelight (he preferred the Bat Signal), but encouraged and supported others as they worked towards their own goals.
Russ worked in social services for three decades, helping those who needed it most - kids. He worked at Christamore House and the Iowa Department of Human Services where he was a supervisor in child protection services.
Some people say that dogs don't live as long as people because they give away all their love so freely. He loved his rescue dog Magik. Perhaps Russ left us so soon because he'd given us all of his love, too. He enjoyed traveling with Monie and Magik to Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan. And weekly dinners with best friend Mark Iversen were often full of discussion and laughter.
Holidays were a favorite time of year in the Hayes house. Annually, Russ prepared the turkey, helped put up and take down two live Christmas trees, and always picked out the pumpkins to be carved. Russ could be counted on to ask Santa to put a flashlight in each stocking.
Russ was the first family member to know a grandchild was on the way and helped keep the secret for nearly six weeks. He helped orchestrate the reveal for the entire family. Being Grampy to Squirmy was one of his favorite titles.
His cremains will be with a tree planted on family land.
Russ is missed. He will always be missed.
I love you 3000.
He is survived by his wife, Monie Hayes of Mt. Pleasant, IA; daughters Sally (Will) Hart of Ainsworth, IA, and Maya Hayes (Jory Marvin) of Coralville, IA; granddaughter Zara Hart of Ainsworth, IA; mother Jane Hayes of Wapello, IA; sister Julie (David) Rappenecker of Burlington, IA; niece Jennifer (Zachary) Jensen of Knoxville, IA; and his rescue dog Magik.
He is preceded in death by his father, Harold Hayes, and his grandparents.
There's still time to send flowers to the Memorial Service at the First Presbyterian Church at 3:30 PM on May 31, 2019.
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