Wilbur “Dickie” Hayes, III was born on June 8, 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio to Wilbur and Charlsie Hayes and was the oldest child of that union. Dickie was baptized at an early age by the late R. L. Clark, at Progressive Baptist Church, where he served as a junior usher.
Dickie graduated from Glenville Senior High School in 1967 where he excelled in his studies and achieved extremely high SAT test scores. As a result, Ford Motor Company recruited him upon graduation to join their organization as a Data Processor. He later continued his studies obtaining college degrees in Business and in Economics.
For the past 15 years Dickie has shared his talents and gifts at St. Augustine Church Hunger Center. Dickie oversaw the preparation and distribution of meals to the Tremont community and to thousands from all over the city; the homeless, veterans, persons with special needs, those in shelters, second chance offenders, and anyone that was in need. St. Augustine Hunger Center provides meals three times a day seven days a week and special meals on holidays.
As the Head Chef, Dickie never once complained of the extreme undertaking. He shared the following comment with Fox8 Cleveland News, “I’m so gratified that I’m able to be here to help, to assist these people. Because, I mean, to see the smiles, the looks on their faces when they come in and they got a nice meal, and atmosphere, everything, everything is just lovely.”
His interests included family, reading, chess, basketball, football and he excelled in tennis. His love of sports undoubtedly came from his late grandfather, Wilbur Filmore Hayes, who was the Sgt of Arms of the American Division of the Old Negro League Baseball Team. His grandfather went on to become the General Manager and eventual owner of the Cleveland Buckeyes Baseball Team.
Dickie was the life of any gathering. He had a great sense of humor and knew just the right prank to play or story to tell at any given moment. The use of facial expressions during one of his stories would cause one to cry from laughing so hard. Although Dickie found much joy in making others laugh, he himself really didn’t have a laugh, he would just say, “heah-heah, yeah.”
His love of learning often found him engaging in thought provoking conversations. Dickie had subtle ways of letting you know when you were being out-witted, but never looked down on you. He was focused and determined and could succeed at anything he attempted.
He shared his love for the Lord with his loved ones. He confessed that he had given his life to Christ and depended on Him to lead and guide him daily. He learned to trust that the Lord would show him how to become a servant to others and draw closer to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Dickie was a major influence in so many lives and played a crucial role with many people past and present. Being the eldest he was like a third parent to his siblings.
Wilbur “Dickie” Hayes, III passed away surrounded by family and friends on February 5, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio after a valiant battle against Metastatic Liver Cancer. His passing has left a hole in many hearts, and he will be greatly missed.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Larissa, father Wilbur Jr., and his brother, Harold “Mickie” Hayes, with whom he had an extremely close bond and fondness for.
Dickie’s legacy continues to live on in his children, which fueled his life and brought him happiness and joy, his grandchildren, mother Charlsie Hayes, sisters Helen (Jerry) Bland, Diane Jackson, Sheila Scott, Shirley (Carl) Ealey, and Donna Hayes, nieces, nephews and a host of family and friends.
Now it is your time to rest good and faithful servant until Jesus returns.
Rest in Peace!
Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same
but as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again.
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St. Augustine Church
2486 W. 14th Street, Cleveland OH 44113