Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Lee Hayes


October 24, 2019

Lee R. Hayes was born in Chewelah, Washington on March 6, 1942. He had a full life of 77 years and passed into the arms of Jesus October 8, 2019. The first six years of his life his family moved 36 times as his father Jim worked to electrify rural Eastern Washington. Then they settled in a small house in Colfax, Washington, where Lee spent his school years active in 4-H. He graduated from Colfax High School in 1960.

Lee spent many of his childhood summers in Addy, Washington, helping on his maternal grandparents’ small dairy farm. It was here, working beside his Grandpa Emil and Uncle Ken keeping the farm equipment working, that he became interested in mechanical engineering. He later proudly earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Washington, and subsequent professional engineering license. His engineering career began at Western Gear and included Nova Tech Engineering and J & H Manufacturing. He launched his own company, Hayes Engineering, in 1999. He loved his work, and though he eventually slowed down, he never retired.

Lee and his wife Kathryn met on a blind date while attending Washington State University and were married in 1962. They raised their two sons in Everett and Mukilteo, and recently celebrated 57 years of marriage. In 2015 they bought a little hobby farm in Stanwood where they have spent some of their happiest years. He is survived by his wife Kathryn, his son Michael, and grandchildren Nathan, Jeniece, Sydney and Houston.

Lee’s faith in the Lord Jesus was strong. As he neared the end, he became excited about joining dear ones who had gone before him, most especially his son David.


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