PERU — James Thomas Hayes, 50 of Peru N.Y. went home to be with the Lord on July 29th, 2012, after courageously battling a long illness. Born June 3, 1962, Jim was son to Thomas M. Hayes and Emmetta L. (Gonyea) Hayes both of whom predeceased him. Jim was also predeceased by his wife Sherry (Brown) Hayes and nephew Ryan H. Quigley.
He is survived by two daughters, Stevie Elliott and Erma Hayes; his sister, Tammie Kimmich and her husband Steve, his sister, Susan Hayes; and his brother, Shawn and his wife Rose and their children.
Jim had an engaging personality and was well liked. He was also enthusiastic and quite adventurous. From an early age, Jim was very mechanically minded and loved taking things apart and putting them back together. Before his illness, he served as a mechanic at First Transit Bus in Plattsburgh. He was an avid ham radio operator receiving his license in 2004.
Jim served his country having enlisted in the United States Army in 1981. He served with an engineering battalion in Germany receiving an Army commendation medal for superior meritorious achievement while participating in the 16th Engineer Battalion fast water bridge training on July 10, 1982. During construction of a 6 ft. float mobile assault bridge raft, an end suddenly began to sink. Jim remained at his position attempting to right the equipment to no avail. He entered the submerged cab and shut off the engine thereby preventing additional damage. During recovery operations, he repeatedly entered the sunken MAB to connect hydraulic lines and tow cables contributing to the vehicle's combat readiness posture on the next day.
There will be a private burial at a later date at the convenience of his family. Those wishing to remember Jim are asked to consider making a donation to the National Kidney Foundation.