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John P. Hayes

May 9, 1921 July 16, 2011
John P. Hayes
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Obituary for John P. Hayes

John P. Hayes, former Chairman and CEO of National Gypsum Company, died July 16, 2011, in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 90 years old. John was born May 9, 1921, in Manistee, Michigan, to Daisy Belle (nee Davis) and John David Hayes. He moved to Detroit with his family soon after his birth. John attended University of Detroit High School and received a Bachelor�s of Science Degree from the University of Detroit. John proudly served in the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Air Force Reserve as a First Lieutenant Aerial Navigator from 1942-1955.

In 1947, John married Margaret Barbara Butler of Detroit and began his career in sales with National Gypsum that would culminate with being named CEO in 1982. He retired from National Gypsum Company in 1990. Hayes is best remembered for leading National Gypsum Company through a leveraged buy-out as CEO in 1984, which privatized the company.

In his business life, John served as President, Junior Achievement of the Niagara Frontier, Buffalo, New York; a member of the Executive Committee of the Dallas, Texas Chamber of Commerce; Director of the Gypsum Association 1968-1969, and its President, 1970-1971; director of the Policy Advisory Board on Housing, Harvard-MIT and Chairman, 1980-1981; Member, Board of Trustees, University of Detroit-Mercy, 1984-1990.

John was a member of the Knights of Malta and a parishioner of St. Lucy�s Church in Highland Beach, Florida as well as Holy Childhood of Jesus Church in Harbor Springs, Michigan. He was a member of Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida, the Del Ray Beach Club in Del Ray Beach, Florida, and Birchwood Country Club in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

John is survived by his beloved wife Margaret Barbara (nee Butler) Hayes and sons, John (Susan) Hayes, Jr. and Timothy (Mary) Hayes. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. John was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.

Visitation will take place at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Wednesday 5-8pm with a Rosary at 7pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon Street, Birmingham, Thursday 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9:30am. Interment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield.

Memorials appreciated to University of Detroit High School, Hayes Scholarship Fund, 8400 South Cambridge Avenue, Detroit, Michigan 48221.

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