Thomas Paul Hayes 77, of Ceresco, Michigan, (Tom and Tommy) passed away on Sunday, November 7, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. He was born March 7, 1944 in Trenton, Georgia and grew up in Battle Creek. He was one of 16 children to Charlie Leonard Hayes and Mary Edith (Pettyjohn) Hayes.
Tom graduated from Battle Creek Central in 1962. Prior to and after graduation, he worked at Top Hat coffee shops around Battle Creek, then worked several years at Nabisco and retired from Ralston Purina with 30 plus years. After retiring, Tom became a general contractor and co-owner of a construction company. He also spent many years as a volunteer firefighter/EMT at Newton Township Fire Department.
Tom is survived by his wife Janet (Blankenship) of 58 years, daughter, Debra Anne Hayes and son, Todd Thomas (Kathryn) Hayes of Greensboro, N.C. He has one grandchild, Nathan Thomas Hayes also of Greensboro, N.C. Tom is survived by his siblings, JT (Diana) Hayes, JoAnn B. (Bob) Raham, Don E. (Lynn) Hayes, Jon N. (Sandy) Hayes, Sheila G. Opala and Jerry W. Hayes.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings; Martha F. Graves, Charles H. (Sonny) Hayes, Mary Ruth Hayes, Willy Sue Dobbs, Carl A. Hayes, Faye C. Newman, Eddy Hayes, Michael E. Hayes, Dorthea L. Hayes.
He loved having coffee with his friends, spending time with family and cherishing his grandson. He also enjoyed golfing, watching football games and spending winters in Florida. Tom had quite the entrepreneurial spirit and ability to invent clever tools to solve problems. He was a jokester, always making people laugh and smile. Tom was also known for always lending a hand when someone needed help. In his outgoing and cheerful way, he easily connected with others and never met a stranger.
Family will receive friends on Friday,November 12, 2021 from 1:30 until 3:00 pm at Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services 2838 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015. A funeral service will follow at 3:00 pm at the funeral home.
Interment will take place at Newton Township Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Tom’s name may be made to Centrica Care Navigators (formally Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan) 7100 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.
Please visit https://kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guestbook or to leave the family condolences.