Vernon Jeffery Hayward

1951 - 2012

Vernon Jeffery Hayward, 61, of Athena passed away on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at home with his wife, Deborah, and Uncle Ron by his side.

Vern was born in Cass City, Mich., on Sept. 1, 1951, the son of James and Verda (Chappel) Hayward. He graduated in 1969 from Lapeer High School, where he spent a great deal of time playing sports, especially basketball, with his many friends.

Vern attended Mott Junior College, where he also played basketball. He worked at Metamora Products for 10 years before he moved to Montana to begin his hunting and guide business. Vern then moved from Montana to Pendleton, where he continued his “Vern’s Ranch and Guide Service” with friend Kurt Akin – they provided guided elk hunts in Oregon and subsequently in Chama and Quemado, New Mexico. He also purchased, remodeled and resold houses with his Uncle Ron.

While playing volleyball, another sport that Vern excelled at, he met his wife and they were married on June 7, 1996. They owned the Sears store in Pendleton for five years and also owned FedEx Ground in Union County. Eventually Vern also purchased property with living quarters in Quemado, New Mexico, to use as a base camp for his hunting business. His customers were from all over the United States, and he shared his love of the outdoors and hunting with them every fall. Vern lived his dream in those months of September through November every year.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Deborah of Athena; parents, James and Verda Hayward; sister, Jamie (Gene) Suippi; brothers, David (Lori) and Mark (Kim); nieces, Brooke (Christian) Durbin and Brittany Hayward; nephew, Justin Hayward; great-niece, Iris; and great-nephew Ethan, all of Michigan. Nephew Jacob Cain and niece Tiffany Cain occupied much of his time as he encouraged and supported them in sports throughout high school and college. Fellow hunters fondly remember bugling in the bulls and then gathering by the campfire later in the evening to tell never-ending hunting stories. He is missed every day by his beloved Labrador, Sadie; and cocker spaniel, Zoey.

There will be a celebration of life on Nov. 4, 2012, at the VFW Hall, 1221 S.E. Court Place, in Pendleton, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Providence St. Mary Cancer Center, PO Box 1477, Walla Walla, WA 99362.

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