Alfred Hayes

Obituary of Alfred Franklin Hayes

Alfred Franklin Hayes, affectionately known as Al or Alf, passed away on October 30, 2021, at 6:02 p.m. at the age of 86. How do you sum up 86 years of life on one page? Impossible! Here is a glimpse into the life of a very special man. Al was born May 9, 1935, in Fort Scott, Kansas, and grew up on the family farm with three sisters and one brother, where he first learned the lessons of hard work and the value of family and community. At 12 years old, polio left him with a partially paralyzed diaphragm and a limp, which was overcome through hard work and the help of his track coach. Al went on to play basketball in high school and received a basketball scholarship to the local college. In 1953, at the age of 18, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps and left the small town in Kansas, which had been his whole world to that point in his life. He would look back on this as one of the most important changes in his life. In the Marines, he became a crew chief for a ship-based helicopter and traveled to Japan and many other places. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December 1956 and immediately started college on the GI Bill at Kansas State University, majoring in electrical engineering. In 1957, at Kansas State University, Al met and married Margaret (Maggie) Richards, who would be his life partner and best friend. After going back and forth from Kansas to California for school and work, he graduated from K-State in May 1963 and moved the family, including their three daughters, to Southern California. By December 1963, Al and Maggie welcomed their first and only son to the family. Each of his children was very special to Al, and he loved and made time for them throughout his lifetime. Al and Maggie’s family spent their early years in Southern California, where Al worked as an electrical engineer for a time but then started his own business — Interstate TV — in Long Beach, California. In his spare time, Al engaged his passion as an inventor, creating a "golf detector,” which provided feedback on how hard a ball was hit and its direction off the tee. Al’s most successful invention was an electronic ignition system for gas dryers and heaters, which became the flagship product when he launched RAM Electronics Corporation in 1976 with a financial partner. Through hard work, dedication and sacrifice, Al was able to grow RAM into a thriving business. Over the years, Al’s children, sons-in-law and other extended family members worked for RAM, making it a true family business. In 1991, Al was able to buy out his partner and move the corporation, along with the entire family, to Fort Collins, Colorado. In July 1997, Al sold RAM to spend more time with Maggie, to travel and to enjoy time with family and friends. Al enjoyed reading, golfing, gardening, camping, downhill skiing, seeking knowledge, playing the guitar and singing around a campfire. He made it a priority to attend any activity or event that involved his children or grandchildren. Those closest to Al describe him as loving, kind-hearted, welcoming, intelligent, tenacious, diligent, hard-working, loyal, compassionate, fun, feisty, gentle, gracious, generous, genuine, facetious, opinionated and sometimes a little stubborn. Al is survived by his wife of 64 years, Maggie Hayes, his four children — Debbie Rohde, Shelly Cox, Sandy Brock and Eric Hayes — 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Lois Voeller, and predeceased by three siblings — Don Hayes, Joan Savage and Ruth Dabbs. Alfred Franklin Hayes has left a legacy that will carry on through his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all who knew him. He was a blessed man and a special man and he will be missed.
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