Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Eleanor Hayes, 93, a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ and animal lover

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Elizabeth (Betty) Eleanor Hayes passed away Aug. 30, 2016 at the age of 93.

She was born in Arcola Illinois on July 27, 1923 to Lenna and Charles Jensen.  She was married to James J. Hayes on Dec. 25, 1945 and enjoyed almost 62 full years of marriage to “Jay” until his passing in Nov. 2007. As Jay was a career military man, Betty followed him wherever his assignments led.  Jay’s last assignment was in Alexandria, Virginia and they lived in Annandale for almost twenty-five years.  After they both retired and traveled they settled into Williamsburg where they lived for the last thirty years and where they truly found themselves to be at home.

Betty loved her home and, having never known a stranger, quickly made many lasting friendships. Although most of her married life was spent following Jay and raising two sons, her working career included being a “Rosie the Riveter” on bombers used in WWII and also working for fifteen years for the Fairfax County Virginia school system. Betty had many interests but she especially liked horticulture and animals.  She was blessed in that she could be found working for hours in the flowerbeds of her home most any day up until she was 92. She had a love of birds and always kept her feeders full.  She delighted in seeing the irregular migratory species stopping to feed and never tired of seeing young birds being raised in her many bird houses.  She loved cats, of which she had many over the years.  Her love of and care for animals extended to her spending many hours in support of the Heritage Humane Society.

Elizabeth was preceded in death by her husband James J. Hayes, her brother Charles R. Jensen (Dorothy) and her brother-in-law Doyle E. Mote.  She is survived by her sister Lillian J. Mote (Doyle), her sons James R. Hayes (Susan) and Robert S. Hayes (Diane), her granddaughters Erica D. Hayes and Erin L. Hayes, and her nephews Doyle K. Mote (Pat) and John A. Mote.

The family would like to thank and acknowledge her physician Dr. Patricia L. Marcusan and her staff for their dedication and care over the years but especially these last few months for giving Betty the best care possible under, at times, very challenging conditions. A private service of remembrance will be held at a later date for family members and close friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.