Former County Councilman Hayes dies

EASLEY — Former Pickens County Councilman J.C. Hayes died Friday at age 87.

Hayes served 40 years in the U.S. Navy, fighting in three wars, before retiring in 1983. Following his retirement, Hayes served nine years on Pickens County Council.

In addition to time on council, Hayes was a loyal community servant as a Mason in the Bates Lodge, a former president of the local American Red Cross, a board member of Seniors Unlimited of Pickens County and a member of the Easley Rotary Club.

A staunch Republican, Hayes was also very active in the Pickens County Republican Party (PCRP).

“(Hayes) frequently attended our monthly Saturday morning breakfast and had questions for the guest speaker,” said former PCRP chairman Walt Owens, a professor emeritus of political science at Clemson University. “Sometimes those questions were difficult ones, and J.C. was unrelenting.  Once, it was all I could do to keep from laughing, as J.C. repeated for the third time:  ‘But you did not answer my question; the question was ‘how did  you vote on that (legislative) bill?’

“We will ever be grateful for J.C.’s exemplary service to his country, and we are thankful that we had the opportunity to know this great American and to call him friend.”

A 1944 Easley High School graduate, Hayes, husband of the late Modena Rampey Hayes, is survived by  his daughter, Cynthia Hayes Breunig (David), sisters, Elizabeth Cobb and Jean Rogers (Jerry), and grandson, Arthur James Harnisch.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, 1751 Plum Lane, Redlands, CA 92374.

Condolences may be expressed online at or in person at Robinson Funeral Home-Powdersville Road, which is assisting his family.