Celebration of Life for WHS grad Terry Hayes Saturday

Terry D. Hayes, a 1963 Wayland High School graduate and basketball player, died May 8 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Terrence Dell Hayes was born on Nov. 19, 1945, in Traverse City.

He grew up in Wayland and stayed in touch with some of his Wayland friends until he died. He often said there is nothing like a friend who has known you all your life and loves you anyway!

He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving for five years in Germany. When he returned home, Terry’s wanderlust would not let him stay anywhere too long. He moved around the West and Midwest where he was a furniture delivery man, a UPS driver, a deputy sheriff, a bread delivery man, an assembly line worker for GM, a telephone installer, a commercial fisherman, a railroad worker and CATV lineman.

Terry married in 1985 they and welcomed their first son, Tyler. Fatherhood at age forty was, to say the least, a surprise for Terry. He always said he was grateful for the unexpected and joyful changes that it brought. One change was that fatherhood diminished his lifelong wanderlust.  Terry packed up his family and moved to Torrance, Calif., where he went to work for the local cable TV company. The move was supposed to be temporary, but Terry happily lived in and enjoyed Southern California for the rest of his life.

In 1988 Terry and Lisa welcomed their second son, Zachary. Shortly afterward, Terry decided it was time for his own start-up construction company. With Terry running field operations and Lisa running business operations, the company grew and prospered, at one point having more than 100 employees.

But then, in 2001, Terry’s medical problems began.

A life-long smoker, Terry began struggling to breathe during the family’s annual trip to Lake Tahoe. Lisa forced him to see a doctor who scheduled an angiogram to evaluate his heart. While being prepped for the angiogram, the staff discovered he was having a “silent heart attack.” And was given emergency double bypass surgery, his first case of cheating death.

After this experience, Terry cut back to working part time and ramped up on the fun part of his life. He loved dirt bike riding in the desert with his boys. He loved fishing, especially fly fishing.

Part of recuperating from the heart attack was exercising in a cardiac rehabilitation center. Terry went three times a week, making new friends and flirting shamelessly with all the nurses. In 2003, while walking on a treadmill wearing a cardiac monitor, the nurses discovered he was having a potentially lethal heart event. He was taken to the emergency room.  Once there his heart stopped and he died. They shocked him back to life and Terry started the journey to his second case of cheating death.

Terry spent a month in the Cardiac Care Unit of UCLA.  Initially given only a 15% chance to live, but wasn’t ready to go yet. He was placed on the Heart Transplant List, though he never actually had a transplant. Dr. Jaime Moriguchi and his Cardiomyopathy Team saved Terry’s life and for 19 additional

This near-death experience was an even bigger life changer then the first time. He quit working altogether. He took up golf and eventually was golfing five or six days a week. One of his true joys in life was golfing with his sons. He started doing volunteer work and did so for as long as he was physically able. He delivered Meals on Wheels, counted migrating grey whales, and delivered library materials to shut ins.

During the final two years of his life, as his health began to deteriorate, Terry still found gratitude and joy in every day “this side of the grass.” He enjoyed watching the birds, supervising Lisa while she gardened, reading, drinking red wine and lime white claws, exploring the internet, playing poker, trips to the casino, spending mimosa mornings at home with his boys and their girlfriends, and happy hour with his loving friends

A celebration of life open house will be held for him on Saturday June 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. at The Sons of Italy Lodge at 1744 W. Carson St. in Torrance.

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