Jane Knowles Hayes, 88, of McGregor, Texas, died on Thursday, December 19, 2013, at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, and was subsequently admitted to the Willed Body Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. A memorial service to remember her will take place at the First United Methodist Church of McGregor, beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2014.
Jane was born a belated valentine on February 15, 1925, at her parents' farm on Slaughter's Branch of Big Elm Creek, between the communities of Hop Off and Bottom's, in northeast Bell County. She graduated from Troy High School in 1942. She graduated from Texas Technological College in 1946 with a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish. She taught high school in Roy, New Mexico, for a year. She then returned to Bell County, and taught high school for three years in Academy, Texas. Until just before the birth of her first child in 1955, she taught English at Fort Hood, Texas, to members of the United States Army for whom English was a second language. Jane married Charlie Ray Hayes on February 18, 1949. In 1955, they moved to McGregor, Texas, where they raised their two children. She returned to teaching in 1974. She thereafter taught in a variety of grades in the McGregor Independent School System until her retirement from teaching in 1992.
While growing up, Jane played softball and basketball at Troy High School. She loved horses all her life. She was an active and very competitive barrel racer until going to college. Jane enjoyed reading (especially history and, in particular, the history of Texas and the American West). She also enjoyed travelling, talking, singing in the choir, talking, working crossword puzzles, talking, learning about just about anything, and talking. She especially enjoyed travelling to the National Finals Rodeo, to the National Cowboy Symposium, to the hill country around Fredericksburg, and to Albany, Texas-especially to attend Albany's annual Fandangle.
While her children attended public school, she was an active member of the Parent/Teachers' Association, a perennial room mother, and a dependable provider of the best chocolate chip cookies in the world for classroom parties. In later years, she was a member of the Red Hat Society, the Retired Teachers' Association, and the McGregor Garden Club. She was active in the First United Methodist Church of McGregor as a member of the Friendship Builders' Class (formerly the Homebuilders' Class) and the United Methodist Women (formerly the Women's Society of Christian Service). She was also a supporter of the Caring Committee, and had taught Sunday School in the children's department at the Church. She was an active and devoted member of the choir at the First United Methodist Church until January of this year, shortly before her health necessitated her move to the Westview Manor Nursing Home in McGregor.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, as well as by her sister, Norma Lundquist, and her brother, Ly Hugh "Dick" Knowles, Jr. She is survived by her daughter, Rita, of McGregor; her son, Steven, and his wife, Mary, of Arlington, and their children, Drew, of Dallas, and Jennifer, of Fort Worth. She is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews, and more friends than you can shake a stick at.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of McGregor, 500 S. Madison, McGregor, Texas 76657, or to a charity you prefer.