Geraldine Ray Hayes, age 85, of Moss Point, MS, passed away on Friday, December 27, 2019 in Biloxi where she was a resident of “The Cottage” at Bay Cove. Geri was born in Madison County September 4, 1934, to Alfred and Myrtis Shotts Ray and preceded in death by her husband Joseph Whelan Hayes and her parents, Alfred and Myrtis Shotts Ray.
She attended schools in both Farmhaven and Pascagoula, as her father was employed at Ingalls Shipyard. After graduation, Geri attended Mississippi Southern until Joe, her high school sweetheart, convinced her that they should be married.
Joe and Geri had the opportunity to travel while Joe served in the Marines as First Lieutenant. After his military service, they returned to Pascagoula where was employed at Ingalls Shipyard.
There is a special angel crown awaiting Geri, as she nursed both parents and Joe through long extended illnesses. A prophet once said, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are in the service of your God.” Geri was a devoted caregiver to her loved ones.
After Joe passed away Geri created a scholarship at his alma mater, Ole Miss, in his name. This scholarship is now entitled the Joseph Whelan Hayes and Geraldine Ray Hayes Scholarship Endowment. In lieu of flowers, you may make a gift to the University of Mississippi Foundation and designate that it is for the Joseph Whelan Hayes and Geraldine Ray Hayes Scholarship Endowment. This gift may be sent to Donna H. Patton, University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655.
Funeral services will be held at the Breland Funeral Home in Canton on Monday, December 30, at 11:00 am. Friends may call after 10:00 am. Interment will be in the Canton Cemetery. The Raytown Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officiate.
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