Rialto S. Roesler
1935-37, 2756, Pierre, S-207 Member
RAPID CITY - Gordon O. Hayes, 86, Rapid City, died Wednesday, February 4, 2004, at his home.
Gordon was born on December 10, 1917, at Boneita Springs, South Dakota, to Emmet J. and Tilla (Lassegard) Hayes. He grew up in the area and attended one room Hillcrest School. Gordon graduated from Sturgis High School in 1937. He then attended and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration in 1943. On April 12, 1946, Gordon was united in marriage to Eloise Aker of Canton, South Dakota, in Tucson, Arizona.
Gordon served active duty during World War II as an officer in the U.S. Army's 90th Infantry Division, 3rd Army, as a machine gun platoon leader. In addition to receiving the Combat Infantry Badge, Gordon was also awarded the Purple Heart, Silver Star and the Bronze Star. Gordon was released from active duty in 1947 as a Captain and retired from the Army Reserves as a Major.
After his release from active duty, Gordon served USD as an Asst. Finance Officer from 1947 until 1954. During this time, Gordon also attended USD Law School and received a J.D. Degree in 1953. In 2003 Gordon received a 50-year pin for his membership in the South Dakota Bar Association. After Law School, Gordon was in the insurance and finance business in Mitchell. In 1957 he began his career with the State of South Dakota as the Assistant Comptroller with the Department of Audits and Accounts. Gordon then went on to proudly serve as Assistant Attorney General from 1960 until 1980. During that time he also served on the State Board of Pardons and Paroles for 10 years. Gordon retired in 1980 and moved with Eloise to Rapid City in 1986.
Gordon was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where he served on the council and various committees, the State Bar Association, DAV, VFW and American Legion.
Survivors include his wife, Eloise; a daughter, Carol Hayes, New York City, New York; a son Bill Hayes and his wife Connie, Rapid City; four grandchildren, Whitney Hayes, New York, Ericka Hayes, Rapid City, and Becky and Shaun Arbour of Las Vegas; a sister, Lucille Bennett, Sturgis; a brother, DeWayne Hayes and his wife Diana, Sturgis and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Lester, in 2002.
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