Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Monday, January 13, 2014

Retired commissioner Hayes passes away

Here is a Hillsdale Daily News article on the passing of Hillsdale College Athletic Hall of Famer Parke Hayes. Hayes was the Muddy Waters Stadium and Phillips Arena announcer for several decades and was a Dale and a Charger through and through.

By Andy Barrand Twitter: @abarrandHDN
Posted Jan. 13, 2014 @ 10:19 am

Hillsdale, Mich.
HILLSDALE — After battles with health conditions over the past several years, former Hillsdale County Commissioner Parke Hayes, 67, passed away Friday afternoon at White Pine Rehabilitation Center in Howell.

Hayes, who had served on the commission for 10 years, resigned in June, citing health reasons. Despite resigning from the commission, Hayes still held the seat as president of the Hillsdale ISD School Board.
Hayes had been a member of the board for close to 40 years.

“He was a true champion for children; he was dedicated to public education,” said Mike Potts, ISD superintendent.

Hayes was well-known in the community, as he served on many boards in many different capacities. He was also news director at WCSR for a number of years.

“He was Mr. Hillsdale County,” said Andy Welden, commission vice-chair. “Hillsdale County was his home he loved the people that lived here.”

Welden was a member of the commission with Hayes all 10 years.

“He was straight-forward you didn’t question how he felt;” Welden said. “He was strong in his beliefs.”

In 2007 the Hillsdale ISD named its new administration building on West Bacon Street after Hayes, something that Potts said humbled him.

“He never expected it,” Potts said. “If you know Parke you know it is something that he didn’t ask for.”
Despite his health problems, Potts said Parke was always going the extra mile for the children of Hillsdale County.

“He was always sharp and on the ball,” Potts said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Commissioner Mark Wiley said Hayes’ passing is a “huge loss to the community.”

“He was a wealth of knowledge ... if he didn’t have the information he would get it for you,” Wiley said. “I considered him a good friend."

Commissioner Brad Benzing agreed with Wiley about the knowledge Hayes had about the community.
“He had a huge amount of institutional memory,” Benzing said. “He was a legend in the community.”

Hayes is survived by his wife Vicky, brother Larry, and the rest of his family.

Memorial services for Hayes are pending at VanHorn-Eagle Funeral Home in Hillsdale.

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