Posted: May 21, 2013 1:33 PM
Arthur James (Jim) Hays, 87, passed away on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at his home in Bozeman. He was born on July 18, 1925, in Los Angeles, California.
Jim attended school in the Highland Park area of Southern California where he met his future bride, Phyllis Beaman, in the seventh grade. They got to know each other as they were assigned the duty of raising and lowering the American flag together at the beginning and end of each school day.
Arthur, known to everyone as Jimmy, was a star baseball and football player at Franklin High School. He left school early in his senior year, 1943, to enlist in the Army Air Corps where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned as a navigator on B17s.
More importantly, just before beginning his flight training, he married the love of his life, Phyllis, and they have spent 68 wonderful years together.
After the end of World War II, Jim attended Occidental College and remained in the Air Force Reserve. He retired as a Major in the Air Force Reserve in 1975 after many years of navigating Air Force transport planes across the Pacific Ocean.
After graduating from Occidental College and then earning a Master's Degree from the University of Southern California, Jim taught math in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He remained with that school district throughout his career-becoming a vice principal and then principal in many schools throughout the district.
After retiring in 1985, Jim and Phyllis, moved to Los Osos, on the Central Coast of California, where they enjoyed each other's company for many years. During this time, they volunteered together as rangers in the Redwoods of Northern California, Docents at the Morro Bay State Park Museum and delivering Meals on Wheels.
Jim was an avid fisherman and spent many vacations fishing in one of his favorite places on earth, Yellowstone Lake. In 2012, he and Phyllis moved to Bozeman, Montana to be close to family and spend the final year of his life enjoying the Big Sky Country.
Jim leaves behind his wife, Phyllis of Bozeman, MT; daughter, Joanna (Jeff) Junge of LaCrescenta, CA; son, Jim (Jacque) Hays of Bozeman, MT; son, John (Nadine) Hays of Camarillo, CA; daughter, Judy (Rob) Davies of Olympia, WA; along with 13 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
Family services will be held.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com