Walter J. Hayes, 78, of Dickinson, passed away on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the presence of his loving family. Arrangements are entrusted to Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop. In accordance with the family’s wishes, there will be no public services.
Walter was born to the late Walter and Virginia (Roos) Hayes on September 29, 1944, and raised by Virginia and Edouard Kaeterle. He married Judith Nilsson in Lomita, California on February 20, 1965 at St. Mary’s Church.
Walter was a “Rolling Stone'', as he and Judith lived in several different locations over the years such as Grand Prarie, Texas and Lancaster, California. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts and resided in Dickinson Center and Potsdam, NY in his final days under the compassionate care of his daughter; Charity grandson Micah and Hospice of St Lawrence Valley.
An Army veteran, Walter led a life filled with hard work, love for his family, and a passion for his career. He took great pride in his work, and had the honor of working on the renowned "Challenger" space shuttle. His skills were utilized when he dedicated six tours to Iraq and Afghanistan where he held a crucial role in the maintenance and functionality of various military aviation units including Apache helicopters.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Walter found immense joy in spending time with his loved ones. He prioritized his family above all else. Whether it was organizing camping trips or embarking on exciting family journeys, he held close these moments of togetherness.
In addition to his love for travel and camping, he also was also an enthusiastic coin collector, and an avid gambler. Walter was always the life of the party, and if you were looking for him, he was probably at the casino, trying his luck at the slot machines. His wild card personality always kept his family on their toes, but his generous nature always persevered. A rare gem in today's world, he would selflessly give anything he had to assist others facing hardship.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of over 58 years, Judith; his children; Charity Hayes, Catherine Hayes and Michael Hayes; his siblings Kathy & Harold Fraser, Paul Kaeterle, Ed Kaeterle, Ethel Cloud Suzanne Cleveland, Tom Hayes, Robert Hayes, James Hayes, Nancy Clapp, Valerie Romero, Robin Howland and Mary Yarosh, his grandchildren; Jeremiah & Kiley Hayes, Micah Hayes, Heather Hayes, and Kyler Hayes, and great-grandchildren; Tyler Jordan, Kinsey Hayes, Kaydence Hayes, Micah Hayes Jr., Bryson Hayes, and Jaxon Cannon.
Memories and words of comfort can be shared with the family at www.hammillfh.com.