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Lorna A. Hayes

Lorna A. Hayes

Lorna Alice Wickstrom Hayes, age 91, passed away on September 23, 2017 at Rice Hospital, Willmar, MN surrounded by her family. Lorna was born on January 13, 1926, in Fence, WI, to Eva (Harrison) and Odin Wickstrom. Lorna was the youngest of four; she had two brothers, Vernon and Gordon, and one sister, Anna. Lorna's father was a Swedish Covenant Pastor, a part time rural mail carrier, and a lumberjack. Odin served 3 rural churches at one time and Lorna often provided the "special music" with her mother or sister. She attended a one room country school in Fence through 10th grade and later attended Goodman High School, graduating in 1943 as the valedictorian of her class of 28 with her high school sweetheart, and future husband, Thomas (Tommy) Hayes. Immediately following graduation, Tom joined the navy, serving in the Pacific during WWII. Lorna moved to Chicago, where she worked in the office of the Meily Printing Press Company, which had converted their factory to the production of gun mounts for the war effort. When Tom returned in February of 1946 he had an engagement ring in his pocket. Lorna and Thomas Hayes were married on August 17, 1946 at Fence Union Church by her father. They moved to Ashland, WI, where Tom attended Northland College on the G.I. Bill. He began his teaching career in Crandon, WI, where he and Lorna had their first daughter, Patricia (Patti) Jo. They then moved to Rhinelander, WI and had their second daughter, Kathleen (Kitty) Ann. The Hayes family settled in Stevens Point, WI, where Tom began his career with the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point in 1959 having received his Master's Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. When Kitty started first grade, Lorna began college. In 1965 Lorna graduated with highest honors from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, with a degree in education. She received her Master's Degree in Education in 1978. She taught in the Stevens Point public school system for 22 years, teaching mostly 4th grade at Roosevelt and Jackson schools until her retirement in 1988. In Stevens Point Lorna was an active member of First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School, directed Vacation Bible School and served as a Deacon. Tom passed away, unexpectedly, in 1999. Two years later, Lorna moved to Willmar, MN. She joined Refuge Church and became involved with the quilters and served as a Deaconess and on the Library committee. She attended the Wednesday morning Bible Study and used her teaching skills to make beautiful bulletin boards around the church. She also volunteered with Rice Hospital Auxiliary. Lorna accepted Jesus as her Savior as a child and followed Him faithfully. Her beliefs affected every area of her life. She was generous, warm, good natured, humble, funny, positive, compassionate, loved to laugh, and always put others before herself. She was known for her gracious spirit. Lorna loved spending time with her family and adored each of her four grandchildren. She was an avid reader and enjoyed playing the piano, painting with watercolors, and sewing.

Lorna was preceded in death by her husband, Tom, her brothers, Vernon and Gordon Wickstrom, her sister, Anna Carlson, her nephews, Jon Wickstrom and David Wickstrom, and her nieces, Grace Merkle and Kristina Wickstrom. She is survived by her daughters, Pat Hayes of Milwaukee, WI and Kitty (Kent) Rodelius of Willmar, MN, her grandchildren Rachel (Davide) Scalise of Milwaukee, WI, Daniel Nennig of Chicago, IL, Anna (Caleb) Kaihoi of Shoreview, MN, Eva (Luke) Rodelius Buer of Roseville, MN, and three great granddaughters, Phoebe Scalise, Ellery Kaihoi, and Finley Kaihoi, four nephews, three nieces, a sister-in-law and many friends. Lorna loved and was loved deeply and she will be greatly missed.

There will be a Memorial Service to celebrate Lorna's life on October 21, 2017 at Refuge Church, 1000 6th St. S.E., Willmar, MN at 11:00. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.