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Kenneth Hayes, 1908-2006
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Kenneth Hayes

Ken & Elizabeth in 1932

Ken & Elizabeth at Glacier National Park, ages 76 & 71

Kenneth Hayes, 98, passed away on May 24, 2006. He was Tulsa Audubon Society President in 1977 and 1978. Ken and his wife Elizabeth were consummate birders. For a number of years they led field trips and kept the birding records for the Society as well as the lists submitted by the Tuesday Morning Birders and Saturday Morning Birders. Ken was the first to record and keep the counts turned in by the Tulsa County Listers, which subsequently became the Tulsa Area Listers. Elizabeth was Recorder for TAS in the 1980s and was often in contact with Dr. Sutton at OU, so that our species were precisely identified before turning these lists over to the state and national records. Ken and Elizabeth spent numerous evenings at Oxley North Woods and other areas calling in owls and identifying other birds such as warblers in season, and then leading the TAS members to these sites to observe these species. One of their daughters, Kay, reminded me that she went on TAS trips with her parents and was introduced to numerous and sometimes rare birds in Tulsa County.

Their musical talents also were well-known in the Tulsa area. Since 1931, Ken taught instrumental music in the Tulsa Public Schools before he became Manager of Saied Music Company. Elizabeth was a noted cellist and played with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. They were married for 58 years, and she preceded him in death. They are survived by 3 daughters and their families that include 6 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Over the years, their contributions to Tulsa Audubon Society, Oxley Nature Center, and other Oklahoma and Texas birding groups have been invaluable.

by Laurel Upshaw

Tulsa World Obituary
Ken actually wrote this obituary himself!

HAYES Kenneth, 98, a resident of Tulsa since 1931. Born in Bryson, TX, to James and Mattie Lou Hayes. He graduated from high school in Whitesboro, TX and earned both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in music, from what is now the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He was a teacher of music in the public schools of Mineral Wells, Albany and Denton TX, before coming to Tulsa in 1931, as a teacher of instrumental music in Tulsa Public Schools. He left teaching to become Manager of Music Sales for Saied Music Company when it opened, working until his retirement in 1986. Kenneth was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church where he was an ordained Elder and at times choir member, choir director and supply organist, later moving to Southminster Presbyterian Church. An avid birding enthusiast and member of the American Birding Association, pursuing his hobby into every corner of the nation. He was a member of the National Audubon Society and Past President of the local chapter and has held membership in Texas and Oklahoma Ornithological Societies, Oxley Nature Center and Nature Conservancy. Kenneth was a lifetime member of American Federation of Musicians and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth who was a charter member of the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra and many other musical organizations. He is survived by: his daughters, Sue Purifoy of Broken Arrow, Kay Hollis of Tallahassee, FL and Ann Dewey of Keller, TX; grandchildren, Jenna Rondeau of Virginia City, NV, Craig Wheeler of Las vegas, NV, Dr. Petra Schultz of Denver, CO, Michelle Gwartney of Bixby, Melissa Ashton of Burnsville, MN, and Michael Dewey of Burleson, TX; great-grandchildren, Brendon, Brian, Timothy and Jillian Wheeler of Las Vegas, NV and Kenneth, Quinn, Jacob and Dennis Rondeau of Virginia City, NV. A Funeral service will be held at 3 p.m., Friday, May 26, 2006 at the Floral Haven Funeral Home Chapel.




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Last modified: October 10, 2017




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