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Katherine Etta “Katie” Hayes, 81, died Aug. 9, 2005, at St Elizabeth Health Services after a knee replacement operation.
Her graveside memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Katie was born at Salina, Kan., on Aug. 21, 1923, to Nathaniel Creager Harris, a not-so-tall Texan, and Mary Margaret Shank. The Shank family had lived in Kansas for many years as homestead-era farmers.
Salina was her home through 1941. After graduating from Salina High School, she set off like many of her generation to work in support of the war effort as a Western Union operator in Pueblo, Colo.
It was in Pueblo that Katie met her future husband, Walter Hartwell Hayes. Walt, a longtime Baker City resident, was posted at Pueblo with the U.S. Army in the Signal Corps.
Walt and Katie were engaged in late 1942 and, after Walt’s transfer from Pueblo, were married at Walla Walla, Wash., on Aug. 7, 1943.
Walt and Katie were subsequently transferred to Lincoln, Neb., where their first child, Walter Creager “Creag” Hayes, was born on Katie’s 21st birthday, Aug. 21, 1944.
In mid-1945, Katie and her little baby took the train to Baker City to be with her husband’s parents while awaiting Walt’s discharge in November 1945.
Except for a brief one-year period when they lived at Portland, Katie and Walt spent the rest of their lives in Baker City. Walt, although not in good health, is now in St Elizabeth Health Care Center.
Katie and Walt had two more children, Jeanne Anne, born April 1, 1948, and Julie Alice, born April 17, 1952.
Katie was what we now call a homemaker most of her life. Raising three children was generally recognized as a full-time job. She enjoyed sewing and made most all of her daughter’s school dresses. During the late 1960s, she worked for Mack’s Jewelers a few years.
She had many interests, including square dancing during the 1950s when she and Walt helped establish the Crazy 8s. They were longtime members of the First Lutheran Church.
She also enjoyed painting and reading, especially history, and genealogy. In recent years she was absolutely passionate in researching the genealogy of the Harris and Hayes family lines.
She will, of course, be terribly missed and fondly remembered by her family and many friends.
Survivors include her husband Walt; her two oldest children, Creag Hayes and Jeanne Mellott; three grandsons, Scott and Tim Shively of Baker City and Alex Hayes of Prague in the Czech Republic; three great-grandchildren, Courtney, Ashley and Zachary; she also has a number of in-laws, nieces and nephews living elsewhere in Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and California.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter, Julie Alice; and her younger sister and brother.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Lutheran Church or Crossroads Arts Center. Coles Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, August 12, 2005
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor