Jean Rae Hayes, 78, of Downs, went to be with the Lord at 10:15 p.m. Thursday (April 19, 2018) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.
Jean was born to Ray and Geneva Patterson in Brazil, Ind., on June 2, 1939. Jean married Richard Hayes on Sept. 14, 1963, and they were married for 54 years. Richard survives in Downs. They spent many wonderful years together enjoying life.
Jean is survived by many who love her, including son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Leigh Hayes, and granddaughters, Ericka Leigh and Ashlyn Rae; son and daughter-in-law, David and Connie Voegele, and grandchildren, Will (Brandi) Watson; son, John Voegele, and grandchildren, Joey, Johnny, and Jeanna; two brothers, Butch Clarence Jr. (Lenda) Patterson and Dennis (Sheila) Patterson; five sisters, Janice (Ronnie) Balla, Lynda Flowers, Kay Bruner, Donna (Ron) Saathoff and Sherry (Carl) Wiley; one aunt, Irene Rose; special friend, Stella Kidwell; 12 great-grandchildren; and many extended family and friends.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Margaret.
Jean was a cook at Illinois State University for many years. She enjoyed retirement for 18 years. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family, friends, and grandchildren. She was a wonderful example of kindness and generosity. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile and funny laughter. The best stories were told by Jean and she was sure to make you laugh. She will be missed by all her knew her.
Jean would have been 79 on June 2. An open house celebration of life and luncheon is planned June 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Downs United Methodist Church. All are welcome to attend to honor Jean and share in her memory. The family suggests memorials be made to Jean’s favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The family would also like to send a special Thank You to the nurses and hospice team at Advocate BroMenn.

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