Billy Hayes, 91, of Toccoa, Georgia, died Friday, October 14, 2022 at his home with his family.

Born in Early County, Georgia on December 4, 1930, he was the son and only child of Dennis Wade Hayes and Sadie (Loyless) Hayes. During the Korean War, he joined the US Army where he became a clerk typist, an assignment that took him to Japan and Germany. He was young, strong and adventurous, and relished the opportunity to see Japan and Western Europe.

After serving four years in the military, Bill returned to southern Georgia. While working at Valdosta, he met his 66-year-old wife, Phyllis (Dameron) Hayes. They married in April 1956. Phyllis, a registered nurse, and GI Bill allowed him to attend Valdosta State College where he earned a BS in chemistry.

After graduation, fortune offered Bill a job teaching science at Lowndes County High School in Valdosta. In the mid-1960s, he quit teaching to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor, a move that brought him and his family to Milledgeville, Georgia. His interests in people and medicine were unified as he helped people with health conditions and disabilities find employment and thrive. In 1968, he was able to resume teaching at Lowndes County High School to be closer to his wife’s family in Valdosta. Many of his students were inspired to pursue a career in medicine as a result of his courses. He retired in 1990.

In 2012, Bill and his wife Phyllis moved from Valdosta, GA to Toccoa, GA to live near their son Alan Hayes and his family. Bill and his wife, Phyllis, attended Chopped Oak Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis (Dameron) Hayes of Toccoa, GA; daughter Lynn (Hayes) Khosla of Vinalhaven, Maine, married to Anil Khosla; son William Shelly Hayes of Marlborough, Massachusetts, married to Caronne Cole-Palmer Hayes; and his son Alan Hayes of Toccoa, married to Amy (Johnson) Hayes. His grandchildren are Mark Dameron Khosla of Cambridge, MA; Ryker Hayes and Devon Hayes of Marlborough, MA; and Eli Hayes of Toccoa, Georgia.

Interment will be a private service in Blakely, Georgia, with a family memorial to be held at a later date.

The family would like to thank the professional and caring staff at Tugaloo Home Health Care for their excellent care.

Arrangements are taken care of and under the professional direction of Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens of Clarkesville, GA (706) 754-6256.

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