Gary Leon Hayes, 73, Kokomo, passed away at 1:29 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, at Seton Specialty Hospital, Lafayette. Born Nov. 17, 1938, in Kokomo, he is the son of the late Raymond “Shay” Hayes and Alice (Short) Coop. His step-parents are Paul Kinsey and the late Ruth Nadine Hayes Kinsey.
He graduated from Kokomo High School in 1958. He was married to Patricia (Adair) Swavey from 1959 to 1968. In his younger years, he was a dance instructor for Arthur Murray Dance Studio, and had won many dance competitions. He was a backup skater for the Ice Capades.
Gary was a wine connoisseur and had written many articles in Gourmet Magazine. He had worked in elite wine and spirits shops as a wine buyer, along the way meeting many nice people. He was chairman of a Great Gatsby benefit gathering in Long Beach, Calif. He had lived in Kokomo, Muncie, then moving to San Diego, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, and La Jolla Beach, where he owned and operated a shop, “The Gingham Bow,” “Gifts for Pets and their People.”
He moved to Fort Wayne in 1991 and worked at Belmonts over the wine department, later going to World Market in the wine area. To be closer to his family, he moved back to Kokomo, where he transferred to the World Market in Carmel. Gary did many wine tasting events and enjoyed doing them and meeting new people.
He is survived by his children, Alisa (Pat) Bernotas, Robin Rene Hayes, Gary Todd Hayes and Paula (Ray) Bolin; twin sisters, Karen (Jim) Guerre and Sharon (Danny) Shepherd; his stepfather, Paul Kinsey; eight grandchildren, Kristopher Rhodes, Leah (Matt) Richerson, Jeremy and Maribeth Bernotas, Joseph Brown, Patricia Hayes, Zachary and Kyle Bolin; three great-grandsons, Kaiden Shay Bernotas, Quinton Bernotas and Dominic Richerson; Jeffrey Goulet, his soul mate for 21 years; two nephews, one niece, two great-nieces, one great-nephew, all of Kokomo; many family and friends; and his three yorkies Abby, Cash and Morgan.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother, one brother, and a special friend of many years, Ed Williams.
In keeping with Gary’s wishes, a graveside service will be 2 p.m. Friday in Albright Cemetery, Kokomo. Pastor Jeff Harlow will officiate. There will be no public visitation.
Memorials may be directed to the family. Ellers Mortuary Main Street Chapel is handling arrangements. You may read Gary’s obituary at www.ellersmortuary.com, where you can sign the guestbook, order flowers, or share a personal message to the family.