Perry L. Hayes, Sr. was born on April 1, 1934, on a farm near Bakersfield, Missouri. He was the son of John Dale and Anna Sorrell Mullins Hayes. He received his education from the Bakersfield R IV school district, graduating with the Class of 1951. After graduation, he enlisted with the United States Air Force and, after twenty years of service, retired as Master Sergeant in June of 1971. During his military career he received numerous awards and medals. Upon retiring, he brought his family to the farm where he was born. In April of 1974, he went to work at Mountain Home, Arkansas, for Baxter Lab. He worked in the warehouse as a forklift driver, retiring again in 1994. Perry also farmed from 1971 until 2014 when his health forced him to slow down. Perry joined the Masonic Lodge of Missouri at Bayou Lodge #365 in August of 1955. He was a sixty-six year member of the lodge. He was also a member of the Scottish Rite, Valley of Joplin, and Eastern Star #432 of Gainesville. On May 25, 1961, he married the love of his life, Peggy Joyce Mitchell, who followed him wherever the USAF sent him, making a home for their family. Perry attended Frontier Baptist Church at Pontiac, Missouri, as long as his health would allow. He loved his church family and was proud of the impact that little church made on the world.
Perry is survived by daughter, Terry Hayes Wood and husband, Gerald; granddaughter, Emily Wood; grandson, Seth Wood, all of Caulfield. It was a group effort providing care for him at home the last seven years, honoring his wishes to remain at home. He took great joy in Emily being his roommate. Survivors also include sons-in- law, Verl Terry and Darrell Hensley; great-granddaughters, Abbie and Zoey; nephew, Gregory Grayham and wife, Joanna; Masonic Brother, Wayne Krouse; and dearly loved dachshund, Ginger.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Peggy, daughter, Peggy Hensley, grandson, Jamey Hensley, daughter, Barbara Terry, sister, Toreva Grayham, brother-in-law, George Grayham, and niece, Cathy Grayham.
He received full military honors in a private service at Baptist Hill Cemetery, under the direction of Robertson Drago Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Baptist Hill Cemetery and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO 65775. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.