OBITUARY

Kenneth D. Hayes

May 28, 1942March 26, 2021
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Kenneth D. Hayes, 78, of San Diego, California, was taken away too soon on March 26, 2021. Ken was born on May 28, 1942, in Portland, Oregon. After graduating high school in 1960, he joined the United States Navy as a Radioman. Ken bravely served many tours for the Navy, including the Vietnam War. Having lived in many places around the world, he met his first love, Teresita (Tessie or Tess), in the Philippines. They were married in 1964 and celebrated 42 years of marriage before Tessie’s sudden passing in July of 2006. After 27 years of service, Ken retired from the Navy at the rank of First-Class Petty Officer (E-6), in July of 1987. He received an honorable discharge and was always a patriot for his country. His Navy experience made him a perfect candidate for the United States Border Patrol, where he began a second career as a dispatcher in August of 1988. Ken was blessed to find love again, and married his current wife, Emelia (Meli), on February 14, 2009. Ken finally retired, for a second time, in March of 2012 after 24 years of service. Ken was dedicated to all his roles in life. His work ethic was undeniable and evidenced by his long careers in service to his country. With his strong faith in God, he loved, and supported his family by cheering them on throughout all of life’s ups and downs. Ken’s optimistic attitude was remarkable. A favorite story of his positivity stemmed from a family trip from San Diego to Las Vegas, where Ken got lost, and drove through Arizona. The detour turned a 4-hour trip into 14 hours! Instead of being frustrated, Ken explained with a smile, and his notable chuckle, “I took the scenic route!" Ken managed to take the “scenic route” many times throughout his life.

He is survived by his wife Meli; his children Josie Mitchell, Lynn Murphy, David Hayes, and stepdaughter Sherri Hayward; sisters Pauline Elder-Homes and Diana Larson; granddaughters Tina Payton, Meagen Murphy, Alexandra Hayes, Abigail Murphy, and Isabel Hayes; great-grandchildren Lyric Payton, Harmony Payton, Cadence Payton, and Jaxson Hayes Merten. Ken was preceded in death by his first wife, Teresita, and their 2-year old son, Thomas Victor Hayes. Ken will be forever missed and loved by all who knew him.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, April 10, 2021

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Memories

Kenneth D. Hayes

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Deborah (Hayes) Mullen

April 7, 2021

My memories of Kenny are from years ago when I was small and sat on his lap. I always thought of him as being so.... tall.
Kenny would visit us when home from the Navy and he would write from Vietnam. Mom would read us his letters and we would worry about him and what he was going through.
When he visited us in Federal Way and we were able to meet Tessie and Josie. Tessie was beautiful and gentle and Josie was a fun playmate. What a wonderful family they were beginning.
I would hear through the years from our side of the family from Dad or Jacquie, through Pauline; how he was doing and his family as it grew.
We haven’t been close as adults but my memories are always of a very kind man who was a great Patriot, that I thought of as a big brother and I am looking forward to seeing him again.

Pauline Elder

April 7, 2021

Sitting here going back through time- one year when Ken came to visit-we took a trip back through time and we promised each other we would do that again.We drove and checked out Grandma's house where we spent our early years and I spent many years-we found Beach school -our first school-My high school-Jefferson and we drove to Seattle and visited Sister Diana-preciou memories-forever in my ❤

Pauline Elder-

April 6, 2021

We lost some years together as I went to live with our Grandma and then you joined the Navy-life happened for both of us and we saw each other now and then. The last 3 years we did a lot of catching up and. momwalking down memory lane with your phone calls every few days.We often talked for an hour or two-i would say *I was thinking about calling you and you would say*not hard enough*💘 you forever*

Diana Larsen

April 4, 2021

My big brother always saw the humorous side of things and was able to keep me laughing too. One memory I have was when Myself and 2 of my friends took a trip to San Diego. He and Tessie were so generous and provided not only a lovely place for me to stay at there home, but also an amazing Phillipino feast for all 3 of us.
Also, Kenny took me to the beach and the zoo on that visit. Happy memories indeed.

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