James Curtis Hayes

James Curtis (Jim) Hayes passed away peacefully on May 6, 2020, at the age of 83. Jim was born in Wadhams, N.Y., and is the son of Persis Murdock Peck Hayes and Vernon Charles Hayes, both deceased.

After two years of college Jim enlisted in the U.S. Navy, spending three years on USS Turner Joy, DD 951, as an electronics technician (radar). Jim came to China Lake in 1967 to work on the Shrike TIAS program, based on his radar and microwave Navy experience. Jim got his B.S. in electronics technology from Southwestern University in 1983.

During his more than 50 years at China Lake (always as a government contractor), Jim worked on numerous projects as a technical writer, receiving numerous letters and awards for his contributions. Jim wanted to be remembered as a scientific contributor and team player in the various projects where he worked, especially for the formal technical reports he prepared.

Jim was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 3199; he served as Grand Knight in 2004-2005. He was a member of Elks Lodge 1913 for many years, holding office as trustee. In his earlier years, Jim worked with the Boy Scouts, serving as Scoutmaster and institutional representative. He was a member for 40 years of the Association of Old Crows, a group specializing in electronic defense and countermeasures.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Yolanda, his brother Charles (Skip) Hayes of Plattsburg, N.Y., and his sister Jeanne Persis Hayes of Tucson, Ariz. Jim’s children include Sarah Elizabeth Hayes and James Alexander Hayes of Ridgecrest; grandsons Jeremy Orion Hayes and Jeffery Paul Puckett; and one great-granddaughter, Royal Blue Hayes.

There will be a viewing at Holland & Lyons Mortuary from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, May 15, followed by a private Rosary and Catholic Wake Service, with the privacy caused by COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

Jim will be finally laid to rest at Bakersfield National Cemetery following a brief ceremony, once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

— Submitted by the family of James Hayes

Story First Published: 2020-05-22