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Friends, mayor remember longtime Councilman Hayes

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Councilman Joe Hayes reads through notes during a Lebanon City Council work session.

Longtime Lebanon City Council Member Joe Hayes passed away Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. He will be fondly remembered by the community he loved and served.

Partlow Funeral Chapel is in charge of funeral arrangements, available here.

Hayes grew up in Statesville, the son of a hard-working farmer. He was the owner of Hayes Mirror & Glass.

Hayes was elected to the Lebanon City Council in 1991 and served more than two decades. His last meeting as Ward 4 City Councilor was in December 2014 - where he was honored with a proclamation by Mayor Philip Craighead naming Dec. 2 "Joe Hayes Day."

It was determined that Hayes had attended 600 council meetings - not counting other special meetings - during his years of community service.

Craighead told The Wilson Post on Wednesday that he was extremely saddened by the news of Hayes passing.

"There wasn't a finer man," he said. "Whenever there was an event for the city, such as the Easter Egg Hunt or a parade, just about anything, he was always there. His job wasn't just showing up on council night. He was always out representing the city in the most favorable way."

Craighead said he has known Hayes "all of my adult life" - first becoming friends through the Lebanon Girls Softball Association, where Hayes and Craighead both served as coaches.

"Back when my daughter Karissa was playing softball, Joe was a coach. He cared about kids and about being of service," Craighead explained. "I've always thought the world of him."

The men worked together again - this time for the city - when Craighead was elected mayor of Lebanon in 2008. "He had been on council a long time before that," Craighead remembered. "I enjoyed working with him."

Hayes was also an avid supporter of Cumberland University athletic programs.

Cumberland's Hall of Fame baseball coach Woody Hunt said Hayes helped out in "so many ways" over the years.

"Joe did a lot for Cumberland... He laid block and brick for our dugouts. He basically helped us start football. He laid block for the locker rooms and press box at what became Lindsey Donnell Stadium," he said.

Hayes was a big fan of Cumberland Football, as well, helping in the press box on game day.

"The big thing, Joe didn't want any credit. He didn't mind working in the background. He was just a good man who did a lot for Cumberland University," Hunt said.

Hayes, who also attended Sunday School class taught by Hunt at Immanuel Baptist Church, was honored by Cumberland several years ago with a spot in the CU Baseball Booster Hall of Fame.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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Cumberland University, death, Joe Hayes, Lebanon, Lebanon City Council, Lebanon Girls Softball Association, obituaries, Philip Craighead, Woody Hunt
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