Ronald D. Hayes

Ronald D. Hayes, age 85, of Dubuque, passed away at 10:50 p.m., on Thursday, March 21, 2024, at home with his loving family.  To honor Ron’s life, family and friends may visit from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m., on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at St. Patrick Church, 1425 Iowa Street.  Funeral services will be held immediately after visitation at 11:00 a.m., on Wednesday at St. Patrick Church, with Rev. Dennis J. Quint officiating.  Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.  Behr Funeral Home is assisting Ron’s family.

Ron was born on January 11, 1939, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Patrick C. and Marjorie (Schmitz) Hayes.

Ron attended Sacred Heart Grade School, Jefferson Middle School and Dubuque Senior High School.  He was united in marriage to his true love, Donna Priest, on April 29, 1961, at Sacred Heart Church.  In 1966, Ron and Donna joined St. Patrick’s Church and have been members ever since.  His faith was extremely important to him, and Ron had a special devotion to praying the Rosary.  He generously volunteered his time and talents for several years at St. Patrick’s Church, Stonehill Care Center, Mount St. Francis and Clare House.  Ron was employed at Sears for 30 years, starting in the automotive department and ending up in the service department.  After Sears closed, Ron went to work at  Medical Associates in their maintenance department and retired again after 10 years.  Ron had several hobbies, but his favorite was spending time in the garage working on his cars.  He restored several, and his grandson still has Ron’s prized 1939 Chevy.  He also liked to spend time watching old movies and listening to Buddy Holly.  Ron loved his family and spending time with the grandbabies brought him great joy!  They knew he always had a pocket full of Tootsie Rolls to share.  Ron regularly picked his granddaughters up from preschool when they were small and took them to Sunshine Restaurant for lunch, a memory that they will always treasure.  Ron had a generous nature and was always willing to help someone in need.  He had a special way of making people feel comfortable and everyone enjoyed his teasing personality.  Ron’s famous quote was, “If I don’t see you later, so what”, a tribute to his jokester side.  Ron was truly one of a kind and he will be greatly missed!

Those left to cherish Ron’s memory include

his loving wife,
Donna Hayes, Dubuque, IA;

his children,
Connie Hendren, Dubuque, IA,
Patrick (Karol) Hayes, Dubuque, IA
and Gary Hayes, Sauk Centre, MN;

11 grandchildren,
Chansey (Alex) Dix, Justin Hayes, Jordan (fiancé Minnie) Hayes, Jeremy Hayes, Kayla (Cory) Gotherman, Emily Hayes, Alek Hayes, Austyn (Ashley) Hayes, Andrew Hayes, Avery (Hannah) Hayes and Arianna (Clayton) Foxx;

5 great-grandchildren;

his sister,
Kathy (Tom) Arensdorf, Eldridge, IA;

and many nieces and nephews.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, Ruth (Ralph) Auer, Patsy (Bud) Gatewood, Sandra (Mike) Wagner, Sheryl (Robert) Reinelt, Kenneth (Marilyn) Hayes; and a niece, Melissa Reinelt.

Ron’s family would like to thank the wonderful nurses and staff of Hospice of Dubuque, especially Jennifer, Stephanie and Melanie, for the outstanding care they have provided for Ron.

The family will thankfully receive your support through greeting cards and memorials in Ron’s memory which may be mailed to Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, Attn. Ron Hayes Family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

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