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James Raymond Hayes, LTC, US Army Chaplain, (Retired)


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James Raymond Hayes was a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel, Chaplain, and an Ordained Evangelical Lutheran Minister for 65 years.  James was born on July 1, 1919 in Eden, New York, to George Hayes and Dorothy Schasel.  He passed away peacefully the morning of April 15, 2020.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Arunyani Pukprayura, and his two sons, Jason Hayes and Jonathan Hayes.

A veteran of three wars: WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War.  He graduated from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio with a B.A. degree and while there, he was drafted into the Army during World War II.  He spent three years in the Army, one of which he attended the University of Minnesota learning the Japanese language.  He spent the next two years in the Asiatic-Pacific as a Japanese interpreter in the Counter-Intelligence Corps as well as handling payrolls for the military in Japan. 

At the very end of the war, he returned to the States.  He then attended the University of Pennsylvania and earned a M.A. and a Ph.D. in American Civilization and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas.  At the same time, during these three years, he also attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and earned a Bachelor of Divinity in Theology. 

After graduation, he went back into the Army and served a total of 26 more years.   During his tenure as an Army Officer, he served as the administrative controller of an Army Project Development Training Board for six years; controller for a missile command in Korea for one year; Command controller for Thailand for two and a half years; Administrative Officer in the MACV Headquarters in Vietnam; Administrative Controller at Ft. Ord, California; and an Administrative Officer and Controller of the high altitude nuclear tests on Johnston & Christmas Islands.    He completed his military education and training in Chaplain Basic Course, the Chaplain Commanding Officer Course at the US Army Chaplain School, and Vietnamese language at the language school in El Paso, Texas.   

During his tenure on the Army Project Development Board he was responsible for all the administration dealing with the new Soldier Guidance Program for the Department of the Army, the psychiatric counseling training program for Army Officers, and produced 47 training films, two of which won Freedom Foundation awards, and one National Safety Council Award.   He is the last senior chaplain at the chapel in Arlington National Cemetery for two years before being assigned to Vietnam.  He retired from the United States Army thereafter.

Chaplain Hayes’ family will have a private viewing and prayer ceremony at Nativity Lutheran Church in Weeki Wachee on Tuesday April 21, 2020 beginning at 11:00am.  He will be laid to rest at Florida National Cemetery at 1:00pm that same day.  Due to the current pandemic there is a hold on formal military services.  Once those restrictions are lifted, full military honors will be rendered by the United States Army at Florida National Cemetery to render a final salute to this amazing, dynamic, loyal solider.   Dates and times will be posted on this tribute page.

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  • Ruth Martino says:

    To IM and family, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

  • Bonnie Ruge says:

    We are so sorry for your sorrow. praying for your family. Bonnie and Ron Ruge

  • Mary Pearce says:

    There are some people who come into your life when you least expect. The first time we met Jim was on his 100th birthday, it was an honor to be invited.

    Jim left an impression that will stay with us forever. What Jim accomplished in his life is incredible. Jim was someone you meet just once and you know, you will never forget them. Jim’s family was so devoted to him. I can only imagine how many lives he touched.

    God Bless you Jim
    Rest in peace
    Pete & Mary Pearce

  • Rody Burton says:

    No words can Express how I feel to a wonderful man —Jim who take care of me as a big brother, it’s hard to loose him but he is in my heart!!! Love you Jim

  • Robert Burton says:

    Pi Imm, I am so sorry to hear about Jim’s passing. He was a remarkable man and an even better friend. I feel blessed to have known him. Please pass my heartfelt condolences to Jason and Johnathan; I know how much they love their father. God Bless – Robert

  • Jim young says:

    My deepest sympathy goes out to Jim’s family. I had the honor and privilege to meet him when I went to Tampa with Rody Burton. I sat and had a very enjoyable and knowledgeable conversation with Jim as I too am a veteran. We had some interesting stories.
    Once Again my sympathy goes out to Jim’s family. He was truly a good man. May he Rest In Peace

  • Rochelle Burton says:

    Dearest Auntie Im, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Uncle Jim was an incredible man and reading all of his accomplishments in the armed service is a testament to his character. I will always remember our time in Thailand. My love to Jason and Jonathan.

  • Suzanne Arceri says:

    Dear Imm and boys,

    I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing this past week. I’ve been thinking of all the wonderful conversations he and I had while I was walking the dog! John would always come home from walking the dog and tell me he saw Jim and they would talk about so many different and interesting things. I know his loss will be long felt but know that he was a man of Faith and he is now with his Father.

    Tonia and I send our love and prayers to all of you. May God Bless you and keep you always. You are in my thoughts and in my heart.

  • Felix and Jeed Kastner says:

    Dear Imm Jason and Jonathan,
    Our heartfelt condolences from the Kastner family in Bangkok.So sorry to hear such a sad news.
    We are blessed to have known all of our Tuesday group, Jim you were one of them.Rest in peace dear Jim you will forever remain our good friend in our good memory!

  • Ko and Yasuko Kishimoto says:

    Dear Imm, Jason and Jonathan. We’re deeply saddened to hear about Jim’s passing. God bless you Jim.

  • Manny and Janice Correa says:

    We offer you(Imm),Jason and Jonathan our most heartfelt condolences at this sad time. We hope our prayers will support the family strength on the loss Jim’s passing. We are here whenever you need us.
    We have been HONORED to have Jim in our lives. He always was open, gracious, wiser and lovely with us.
    We will REMEMBER HIM and HONOR HIM FOREVER. REST IN PEACE.

  • Kevin says:

    Mrs Hayes and family,
    I am very saddened by the news of Mr Haye’s passing.
    I always loved transporting your guys to n from your appointments, I will never forget him and you both were always so nice n generous.
    My prayers are with you guys
    Again my deepest condolences
    Kevin from Trans Hernando

  • Judy Myers says:

    Imm. I’m do sorry for your lost.
    My condolences to you and your sons.

  • DR Lingappa Amarchand says:

    James was a patient and friend of mine.For over 20 years he was accompied by his wife Arunyani in my office. I was not only his Doctor but also his friend I thank him for his service in the Army and his ministrie for over 65 years what a wonderfull man I enjoyed the talks we would have Gob bless to his wife and children.

  • Jose Hernandez says:

    Dear Imm, We were informed by Janice and Manny Correa about the passing of your husband. Our sincere condolences to you and your family in this tough time. I don’t know if you remember us, (Nelson and Jose) I did your your hair a long time ago and we always remember what a dear person you are and we were so saddened by the news. Sincerely Jose and Nelson

  • ChooBeen & Tom says:

    So so sorry for your lost😢 we will keep you and the boys in our prayers 🙏

  • Natosha Humphrey says:

    I was honored to serve him for years at Publix. He was a beautiful soul and his family as well. Prayers for comfort to the family during this difficult time. God bless the family and peaceful rest to a magnificent Chaplain Hayes.

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