MAPLE PARK, Il - It is with great sorrow that the family of Edward Eli Hays announces his passing on April 2nd, 2019 after a brief illness. He was 82 years old and lived in Maple Park, Il at the time of his death. He was also a longtime resident and general contractor in Villa Grove during the 1970s and 80s.
Ed was born August 28, 1936 the youngest of 4 boys to Paul and Sarah Turner Hays in Murdock, Illinois. He attended Murdock Grade School and then Newman High School and was a member of the class of 1954.
After high school, Ed moved to St Charles, Il and worked various jobs before enlisting in the Army. He proudly served 3 years in Germany and various posts throughout the United States and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
He returned to civilian life and would soon after meet and marry Mary Nelson in Batavia, Il on February 2nd, 1963. Ed and Mary recently celebrated their 56th anniversary.
In 1964 Ed and Mary moved to Murdock where Ed would learn carpentry from his father. A short time later they moved to Villa Grove where they would settle and live for twenty years and raise their family.
Ed owned E.E. Hays Construction and built over 100 homes in the Villa Grove area. He also remodeled countless other homes and built or remodeled several commercial structures in and around Villa Grove and the surrounding communities.
In 1987, Ed and Mary relocated to Batavia and he would continue to be a self employed carpenter contractor until he “retired” in 2001. In “retirement” Ed would spend the last 18 years of his life doing odd jobs for friends and family to pay for his newly found golf habit, his and Mary’s annual trips to Siesta Key, Fl, and to spoil his grandkids. His work and the pride he took in it was a hallmark of his life.
On April 18th 1998 Ed found his true calling when he became a grandfather. His grandkids would put the twinkle in gramps’ eye until his last breath. Weather and distance were never a barrier for Ed as he traveled all over the Midwest to watch his grandkids participate in activities. Nothing made Ed happier than toting his old chair to the sideline of a ball field and he loved nothing more than getting a hug from a sweaty grandkid after every game.
Ed was also a huge Chicago and Illini sports fan. He was so thankful to have lived long enough to see his beloved Cubs win the World Series. It meant a lot to him to be able to say he got to see all of the Chicago teams win a championship.
Ed was a wonderful and kind man, humble and honest to a fault and a friend to all who met him. He immediately connected with strangers and through an amazing memory could find common ground that would be the basis for a friendship regardless of how fleeting the encounter.
Ed is survived by his wife Mary of Maple Park and daughter Amber Hays of Hinckley, Il. Also son Paul and his wife Denise Hays of Geneva and their children; Corey Simmons, Brianne Simmons, Joshua Hays, and Jonah Hays all of Geneva. Ed is also survived by a brother, Fred Hays who lives in Bristol, Tn.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Paul Jr, and Charles Hays.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Central DuPage Hospital and CDH Hospice for their attentive and loving care. Although cancer robbed Ed of the ability to speak the last weeks of his life, he gave every staffer that came in his room a handshake which was a small gesture of gratitude from him for their care.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ed’s memory to a charity of your choosing or consider a donation to Beautify Villa Grove fund. Check payable to: City of Villa Grove with BVG/Ed Hays in memo c/o Gilles True Value at 7 N. Sycamore Street, Villa Grove, IL 61956
A Celebration of Ed’s life will take place at The Well Church in Geneva, Il on May 18th from 3PM until 5PM followed by a short memorial service at 5PM.
A second Celebration will be held at Joines Funeral Home in Villa Grove, Il on Sunday May 26th from 11AM until 2PM followed by a short memorial service at 2PM.
If you knew Ed, you knew he hated wearing a suit so guests are encouraged to dress casually. Wearing Cubs or Illini (or your favorite team) spirit wear is encouraged.