Born: September 23, 1923
Died: March 30, 2012
The Reverend Herman L. Hayes, age 88, of Hurricane died of natural causes Friday
morning at his residence.
Born September 23, 1923, he was the son ofthe late Owen W. and Nina A. Hayes. At
Elkview High School, he was the starting quarterback of the football team and the featured
middleweight of the boxing squad. During this time, he was active in Golden Gloves boxing,
winning forty amateur bouts. After enlisting in the Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl
Harbor, he saw three weeks of combat duty during the Okinawa operation.
Following World War II, he attended West Virginia Wesleyan and Morris Harvey
College, majoring in religion and philosophy. In 1953, he married the former Ladena Rooper of
Hurricane, who predeceased him in 1993. Their union produced one son, Gregory.
After pastoral training was completed via the Ministerial Course of Study under the aegis
of Duke Divinity School, he was ordained an Elder in the former Methodist Church in 1963.
Serving churches in Ona, Davin, Coal City, Oceana, Weirton, Dunbar, and Pt. Pleasant, he
consistently demonstrated a unique ability to communicate with people of all ages, backgrounds,
and races. Churches he served received numerous citations for effective evangelism.
An avocation of woodcarving resulted in his becoming one of the founding exhibitors of
both the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair in Beckley and the Mountain State Arts and Crafts
Fair in Ripley. His art was featured in several books, the original West Virginia Encyclopedia,
and television specials on NBC and PBS. Collectors of his work included philanthropist Armand
Hammer, former Governor Cecil Underwood, and the Vatican, Smithsonian, Huntington, and
West Virginia State museums. He also was the first two-time recipient of the Award of
Excellence in woodcarving from the West Virginia Juried Exhibition.
After retirement, the Reverend Hayes was active in the Forrest Burdette United
Methodist Church and the John Henson Senior Center of Hurricane. In recognition of
community service and his art, he received the Distinguished West Virginian Award from
Governor Bob Wise in 2002 and the Key to the City of Hurricane.
Survivors include one brother, Jack Hayes and wife Yvonne of Melbourne, Florida; son,
Gregory and wife Diane of Nitro; grandson Scott Hayes and wife Amy of Johnstown, Ohio;
grandson Eric Hayes of Hurricane; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
A Service of Death and Resurrection will be conducted by the Reverend Dr. Dan Hogan
at Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church in Hurricane on Tuesday, April 3 at 10 a.m. with burial following in Valley View Memorial Park.
Visitation will be held at Allen Funeral Home on Monday, April 2, from 6-8 p.m. In lieu of
flowers, donations may be sent to Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church, 2848
Putnam Avenue, Hurricane, WV 25526, or the John Henson Senior Center, 2800 Putnam Ave,
Hurricane, WV 25526.