Tom Hayes, a former middle school principal and city council member in Oak Ridge, died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, according to his obituary. He was 76.
Hayes, who lived in Oak Ridge, was a former principal at Robertsville Middle School and a former member of the Oak Ridge City Council.
A native of Parsons, Tennessee, Thomas Warren Hayes was born November 2, 1938, and he graduated from Riverside High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in social studies and a master’s degree in education supervision from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Hayes married the former Peggy Smith on December 22, 1963. They have been married 52 years.
A dedicated educator, Hayes worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal during his 43 years with the Oak Ridge Schools, his obituary said. He was honored by the naming of the Thomas W. Hayes Gymnasium at RMS and by the establishment of the Hayes Creek Outdoor Education Classroom by the Technology Club. He was among the first Career Ladder Level III administrators in Tennessee.
As an educator and administrator, Hayes worked diligently to create a strong sense of collegiality and spirit de corps among his coworkers and they felt a strong sense of professional family, the obituary said. He set high expectations and led Robertsville Junior High through a transition to the middle school; provided leadership in fully automating the school library, scheduling, data, and student use of computers; and promoted student athletic programs. He promoted field trips for students as well as professional training and growth opportunities for staff.
Community was important to Hayes, the obituary said, and he was an active member of the Oak Ridge Lions Club, the Masons, and the City Council.
Thomas was blessed with a loving family. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Smith Hayes; sons, Timothy Warren Hayes of Nashville, Tennessee, and Patrick Thomas Hayes and wife, Heather, and grandson, Braxton Hayes of Cartersville, Georgia. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Jessica Danielle Hayes of Savannah, Georgia; and brothers, Billy and Johanna Hayes of Germany; Mack and Kathy Hayes of Jacksonville, Tennessee, and William and Martha Gail Hayes of Parsons, Tennessee.
The family will receive friends on Friday, October 30, 2015, from 9-11 a.m. at Robertsville Baptist Church, 251 Robertsville Road in Oak Ridge. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. at the church with Pastor Brian Scott officiating. The interment will follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park.
The family asks that any memorials be made to Robertsville Middle School Scholarship Fund, 245 Robertsville Rd., Oak Ridge, TN 37830. Weatherford Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. An online guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.
Read the full obituary here.