John Hayes was an honest, good-natured man who loved to fish and invent things, family and friends said Friday.
"He was a really terrific guy," said his daughter Mary Jo Cline, of Medford, Ore. "He made all the grandkids little chairs. He needlepointed the seats. The one thing he always said was to hope for the best, but expect the worst. He had a good attitude."
Hayes, a former Carson City supervisor, died Thursday morning. He was 68.
A 38-year Carson resident, Hayes served as a supervisor for 12 years from 1973 to 1984. Former Carson Mayor Harold Jacobsen said Hayes "was very good at his word."
"If he said he was going to do something, or he felt a certain way, you knew that's what you could depend on was going to happen," Jacobsen said.
His son, Michael Hayes, of Silver Springs, said the family relocated to Carson City in 1963 after his father got tired of moving his family all over the West working as a field superintendent for Signal Oil Co.
"He wanted to bring his family to a place where he didn't have to travel so we could have one home," Michael Hayes said.
Hayes was born Melvin Eugene on March 19, 1933, in Covington, Tenn., to Cletus and Lula May Hayes. Michael Hayes said his father picked up the moniker "John" as a boy growing up in Seminole, Okla. He joined the U.S. Army, and served in the Korean War from 1953 to 1955. He married Arline Hoffman June 24, 1955. They are the parents of three children, Cline, Michael Hayes and Barbara Ann Thorson, of Reno.
Hayes went to work for Southwest Gas in 1963 as an inspector before getting his real estate license. He worked for Bonanza Realty and Bob Cox Realty and maintained his Realtor's license until his death, Michael Hayes said.
He was active in local Democratic politics, serving as the Carson campaign manager for Sen. Howard Cannon. Carson voters chose Hayes over Gene Gold to represent Ward 2 in the November 1972 election.
In his spare time, Hayes loved to fish at Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake and tell the stories that went with the sport. He liked to cut wood with his friends and included in his knack for making things his own beer and wine.
Bob Crowell, a Carson City attorney and long-time Hayes friend, said Hayes was "extremely good hearted.
"In any situation, I always believe he gave more than he ever received," Crowell said. "There was a young man who had terrible heart disease and died, and his widow was concerned about life. John cut about a cord of firewood for free so she would at least have wood for the winter. In many instances he's given tremendous amounts of himself. He was always willing to help if he was asked."
He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and was an active member of the Capital Baptist Church.
Hayes is survived by his wife, children, eight grandchildren, sisters Linda Rhodes and Betty Casey of Seminole, Oak. and brother Clyde Hayes of Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers the Hayes family asks that contributions be made to the Capital Baptist Church Building Fund, 4555 S. Edmonds Drive, Carson City, Nev. 89701.
A Masonic memorial for Hayes will be Monday at 10 a.m. with a visitation Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Walton's Chapel of the Valley funeral home, 1281 N. Roop St.