James Hosmer “Jim” Hays, Jr., 75, of Mounds died 6, 2018. He was born Sept. 5, 1943, in Henryetta to James Hosmer Hays, Sr. and Christina Hunter (Patterson) Hays.
He graduated from, Henryetta High School in 1961 and was a member of the high school band, which had the honor of representing Oklahoma and marching in the January 1961 inaugural parade for President John F. Kennedy in Washington, DC. In his youth, Jim danced on “American Bandstand” while pop singer and top-charter, Connie Francis, performed.
Jim put himself through college while working at KHEN radio station in Henryetta. He graduated in 1965 with a BA in Education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Jim was “the voice” of the Okmulgee High School Bulldog football games for nearly two decades. He taught for two years at Okmulgee High School during the tumultuous age of desegregation. From 1967 through 1994, Jim taught Business and English courses at OSU-Tech (now OSU-Technical Institute, Okmulgee), until his retirement. He came out of retirement twice to help launch new educational programs at the university. Jim also shared his gift of teaching in the education departments at the David L. Moss Tulsa County Jail and Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville. Following retirement, Jim continued working as an “Ambassador” at Floral Haven Funeral Home. As part of his passion for photography, Jim was also the owner of Hays Photography.
Following college, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Bette Linda (Davis) on January 21, 1967. Several years later, they started a family. Jamie Linn (Hays) Lazalier, was born June 16, 1976, and Jeremy Landon Hays, was born May 30, 1981. Following 35 years of marriage, Bette’s life was cut short by cancer in August 2003. Following the death of his first wife, Bette, Jim met and subsequently married Niki Diane (Hiser) Opitz Dec. 26, 2004.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his wife, Bette, and one nephew, Scott Walker, and a niece, Sheila Sams.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Niki Hays, of the home; one daughter, Jamie Linn (Hays) Lazalier, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and her husband, Jeff, and their children Seton, Graysen and Payten; one son, Jeremy Landon Hays, of New York, New York, Jeremy’s wife, Kathleen, and their daughter, Evelyn. Jim is also survived by his sister, Barbara Jean (Hays) Walker, of Midwest City, Oklahoma, and her sons, Phillip D. Walker, of Midwest City, and Robert Walker, and wife Kristi, of Calera, Oklahoma. Additionally, he is survived by his three step-children, Ryan, Wendi, Chris Opitz (and Chris’ wife, Shannon), and three step-grandchildren Sandi, Rostin, and Ashley, all of the Tulsa area.
The family will be present to receive friends during viewing hours from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 at Floral Haven Funeral Home, 6500 S. 129th E. Ave., in Broken Arrow. A funeral service, officiated by Rev. Shelby Scott of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Broken Arrow, will begin at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, also at Floral Haven Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, to honor Jim’s life, please consider a donation to the arts department at Holland Hall School by following this link http://www.hollandhall.org/giving/gift.
Services are under the direction of the Floral Haven Funeral Home of Broken Arrow.