Joe Hayes


Joe Hayes


Joe Hayes

Joe Hayes, 77, of Billings, died Jan. 3, 2017.

Joe was born on May 16, 1939, in Billings. He graduated from Cody High School in Wyoming and, soon after, began a lengthy career in construction and was an all-around handyman. Joe loved spending time in the outdoors, fishing and hunting with his family and friends. In his retirement, Joe spent his days caring for his great-grandsons, Tristan and Kaeden. They loved spending their days together! As the boys grew, Joe enjoyed sharing in their school activities and afterschool sports. He especially enjoyed watching Tristan play baseball each summer. At those games, Kaeden and Joe spent a lot of time enjoying the concession stand.

Joe is survived by his companion, Luella Preuninger; his children, Robert and Rodney Hayes, LaDonna Bergman (Gary) and Debbie Breshears (Mike); nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave.

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5 thoughts on “Joe Hayes”

  1. Joe, Muley and me were all part of the one eleven 111 just like will James and his two buddies. We put up a good fight to keep it real about ole Will. You were my buddy that I talked to several times a week. Talk about Will of course but mostly about those grand kids They were the light of his life. Gonna miss my buddy. So sorry he suffered like he did. I’m sure him Will and Alice are all having a grand visit. Rest In Peace my friend. Will miss talking to you. My love and condolences to LuLu n family 🙏💕

  2. Shannon Harrington Grimm, daughter of Peggy Burns Partridge, Joe's first cousin

    Joe was an “Uncle” who, as children, my brother and I called, “Crazy Joe” because he always made us laugh and acted silly. He was always so kind to children. He was a good nephew to my grandparents, Bob and Kathryn Burns and I know they loved him a lot. He was a seller and a collector of Will James art. He was an expert, his knowledge and commitment so impressive. My mother is especially upset by his death as he and his brother, Colin, lived with her family growing up and used to be so close. He will be missed. Our condolences go out to his family, especially his beloved wife, Lu, and his sons from a previous marriage, Robert and Rodney Hayes. “Crazy Joe” will be missed by ME, because he was a part of my childhood and someone we saw whenever we came to Montana for a visit. He was definitely a Montana man. My fondest memory is of him and my grandpa, Robert “Bob” Burns, throwing horseshoes at their Frances Avenue home. He knew where all the good (geological) rocks were in this state and the best fishing. I wish I had saw more of him in recent years and I am sorry my children never got the chance to know him. I will never forget his kind smile or quick wit…forgive me for going on like this. Rest in Peace, I’m sure Bob and Kathryn were among the host of heaven waiting to greet you. <3 Shannon, Vincent and Olive

  3. Gary Temple and Marylee M. Moreland

    Joe, we so appreciate all of your work in connection with maintaining the wonderful legacy of Will James. RIP

  4. Second post This one I did on our Will James Association FB page
    Well tomorrow is Joe Hayes funeral. I sure miss my friend and our phone conversations more than I ever thought. He was the last of the men that gave their word and meant it! He was little rough around the edges but most of those type are. He was devoted to keep Will James legacy alive! Not just as a business venture but because he was a true fan & passionate about Wills life. He was so proud to tell me how LULU and him went to Reno Nevada and actually meant with Alice, Wills wife. That was a meeting he really cherished. He told me stories about the Snooks and Virginia’s friendship with Will and her huge collection. If I had a question on WJ art he knew the answer. If I saw a piece in a auction and called to tell him about it, he’d know just the one. He’d tell me if he owned at one time or who did. There wasn’t anything he didn’t know about Will James I don’t think. He loved sharing stories about the old days when the WJS was young and going strong. I wish I had been there from the beginning in Cimarron. BUT! We were all together in 2015 in Cimarron for the last WJ old times event He didn’t walk around much. He sure enjoyed visiting with his old buddies Pete, Muley, Randy, Steve, BB and rest of gang. He was pretty happy to see Miss Linda Davis at our dinner. Yep gonna miss ole Joe more than I thought I would. Rest in peace Buddy!

  5. Joe was our “son-in-law”–jokingly so!! When our daughter, Jonna, started working at Gusick’s, she met Joe and Luella. When she first introduced us to Joe, he said he was Jonna’s boyfriend and the fun began. Through the last ten years plus, we would often run into them at Gusick’s and he was always a delight to visit with. My husband and I have seen them at the Western Emporium as well. He never forgot who we were and really treated our daughter well. It is hard to believe we won’t see his smiling face again. Our sympathy goes to Luella and the rest of the family.

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