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Rudolph "Rudy" Lamar Hayes

January 14, 1928 July 30, 2015
Rudolph "Rudy" Lamar Hayes
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Obituary for Rudolph "Rudy" Lamar Hayes

Rudy Hayes was born on January 14, 1928 in Waycross, Georgia. He lived there his entire childhood and graduated from Waycross High School in 1945. After high school he attended the University of Georgia, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1949. He was married to Charlene Ramsey in 1963 and they have two daughters and sons-in-law, Alison and Jayson Goolsby and Lisa and Tracy Willis and also a son and daughter-in-law, John and Gay Hayes.

Upon graduation from college, Rudy moved to Americus, Georgia to begin his long career in journalism at the Americus Time Recorder. Serving 40 years as the Editor of the local newspaper, he was on the front-line of every development in Sumter County for decades. From the Civil Rights Movement to the election of a United States President from rural Georgia, Rudy Hayes brought the news to local citizens and at times the world, through his writings. Hayes was an early supporter of Governor Carter, and later President Carter and chaired the first fund-raising event for the presidential campaign in Sumter County.

In addition to his duties at the newspaper, Rudy became a staple in community service in Sumter County. He served on the Americus Board of Education for fourteen years and chaired the establishment of the “Teacher of the Year” award, and Walk of Fame. Rudy also served as chairman of the committee for the erection of Finklea-Robinson Football Field for Americus High School in 1975.

Governor Jimmy Carter appointed Rudy to serve as co-chairman of a committee with former US Congressman Jack Brinkley to commission a monument at Andersonville National Cemetery. This famous monument of three prisoners is the only statue from a southern state in the Cemetery and it serves to honor all American prisoners of war.

Rudy served First Baptist Church of Americus faithfully as a Deacon for most of his adult life, by teaching Sunday School for many years and serving as the Church Clerk for decades. Along with several friends, Rudy was instrumental in bringing his beloved fraternity to Americus. This group of men initiated the charter members of the Eta Theta Chapter of Sigma Chi at Georgia Southwestern.

Dedicated to mental health, Rudy directed the 1,000 Mile Walk from Americus to the headquarters of the American Medical Association in Chicago, Illinois to present petitions collected along the way from supporters requesting physicians screen patients for mental illness. Perry Wellness Center Director Stewart Perry honored him by naming the flower and plant garden at the Center “Rudy’s Happy Patch.”

Other examples of Rudy’s community service include membership on the Board of Directors for South Georgia Technical College, the Sumter County Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, and the Board of Middle Flint Behavioral Healthcare. Following his newspaper career, Rudy left retirement to assist both Georgia Southwestern State University and Sumter Regional Hospital by serving in public relations.

He was the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren: Hayes Willis, Jackson Hayes, Justin Willis, Sydney Hayes, Riley Goolsby, Emma Kate Hayes, Ansley Goolsby, and Sadie Grace Goolsby.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, August 2, 2015, at First Baptist Church with Rev. Keith Parks and Rev. Rusty Mauldin officiating with interment to follow in Oak Grove Cemetery. The family will receive friends Saturday, August 1, 2015, from 4:00 until 6:00 PM at Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel and at other times the family residence. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Mattie Marshall Center at Magnolia Manor, 2001 S. Lee St., Americus, GA 31709 or to First Baptist Church, 221 S. Lee St., Americus, GA 31709.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 8/1/2015 4:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 8/1/2015 6:00:00 PM
Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel

142 Southland Road
Americus, GA 31709

Greg Hancock Funeral Chapel
142 Southland Road Americus 31709 GA
United States





2:00 PM 8/2/2015 2:00:00 PM
First Baptist Church

221 S. Lee St.
Americus, GA 31709

First Baptist Church
221 S. Lee St. Americus 31709 GA
United States

Cemetery Details


Oak Grove Cemetery Final Resting Place

Rees St.
Americus, GA 31709

Rees St. Americus 31709 GA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Mattie Marshall Center at Magnolia Manor

2001 S. Lee St.
Americus, GA 31709

Rudy's Happy Patch

Perry Wellness Center
302 E. Furlow st
Americus, GA 31709

First Baptist Church

221 S. Lee St.
Americus, GA 31709

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