On Sept. 30, 2009, Norma Hays passed from life. The daughter of Ted George, a druggist, and his wife, Grace, a registered nurse, Norma was the eldest of four children born and raised in northwestern Iowa. The two brothers, Aubrey and Homer, followed their father and his brother into pharmacy; Norma and her sister, Janice, followed their mother into nursing.
Sister trained in Iowa, but Norma traveled from tiny, rural Sioux Rapids, IA, to Baltimore, MD, and attended Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. During her training, she met and married John Hays, a chief petty officer in the Navy, and, after his discharge, returned to Iowa where their daughter, Mary, was born. In 1952, they relocated to Vermillion to start Hays Radio-TV Service.
Both John and Norma worked at the shop and were active in the community. Norma was a PEO, Sunday School teacher, violinist in the USD orchestra, student of creative writing, private nurse for terminal patients and cared for her parents, husband and a number of other relatives and friends during their final illnesses.
She was an involved mother, student of the Bible and an Angel: confidant, correspondent and moral and practical support for an amazing number of people in Vermillionn and across the country. She raised gardens, bees and flowers, giving, selling, canning, and preserving their produce for her family and anyone else she could help.
After John's death to her death at 91, she lived independently in a 100-plus-year-old renovated farm home at the corner of Lewis and Yale, walked all over town until she was no longer able, drove, shopped, cooked, handled the finances, mowed her lawn and shoveled snow until very recently, loved her daughter and helped everyone she touched who needed her.
When she had her final stroke, she was in the kitchen, preparing to can the tomatoes she had grown. Her body followed her into death a few days later.
At her specific request, there will be no funeral or service. Anyone wishing to honor her life and memory may consider a charitable donation of their choice or share their memories of Mrs. Hays with her daughter, Mary Holyer Black, 454 Dallas Smith Rd., Crossville, TN 38555.
The family wishes to thank the many people who have been kind to her. She was a remarkable woman; we will miss her.