Obituary: Douglas Hayes
July 29, 1965 – October 30, 2021
Doug passed peacefully, while being wrapped and held with love, late Saturday night at home. His last breaths were in tune with the Beatles, Let It Be, playing in the background. His death was as full of love as his life was, his dying days as full of gratitude as his early days. He left us with a legacy of good fortune, gratitude, and love.
Doug always considered himself to be fortunate. His first bit of good fortune came when he was born in Eugene, Oregon on July 29, 1965, to Mike and Joan Hayes. His stepmother, Muggy Hayes, entered his life when he was 11, adding tremendous good fortune by “teaching me how to love unconditionally” and accepting him into her large, loving, extended family. He also felt fortunate to build a relationship with a family friend who taught him to “give difficult experiences over to resilience rather than shame” and a greater understanding of the importance of self-respect.
Doug worked for his father in the construction industry from a young age and felt fortunate to have learned the value of hard work and an appreciation of the trade industry. From those values he went on to build a construction company of his own in Colorado; Hayes Construction, living out his dream to be independently successful. He was consistently praised and rewarded for his craftsmanship, leadership, and ability to form meaningful relationships with both colleagues and his clients. Doug’s skill and professionalism allowed him to build exceptional, luxury houses. His warmth and humor made those houses into personal, loving homes.
Doug graduated from Churchill High School and while he never attended college, anyone who knew him would confirm, he may have been one of the most educated, well read, wise men you would ever meet. He was a life-long learner, curious about most everything; history, philosophy, religion, world culture, art, film and all kinds of music!
In 1989 he met a girl in Glenwood Springs while traveling through Colorado. Over the next 30+ years he and that girl, Resa Filiss Hayes, wrote a love story for the ages. Together they created a marriage, a family, and a community that epitomized Doug’s legacy. Their days were filled with laughter, fun, incredible friendships, travel, but mostly enjoying every moment of parenting their children, Olivia, Sophia, and Max. Doug loved each of his children for their individual gifts. He admired Olivia’s leadership, tried to emulate Sophia’s grace, and savored every moment when Max shared his curiosity and intellect with the world. Being a father to his two girls was the greatest glory of his life and becoming a father to an adopted son late in life was one of the most extraordinary gifts possible.
Above all else, Doug was a family man and dear friend. This is where he felt his greatest fortune, and where he placed most of his energy. He held endless gratitude to Dean and Tish Filiss, Resa’s parents, whom he felt were so much more than in-laws. He said he learned from them how to “love, with action” and how to “give yourself to love”. As the oldest sibling, he maintained close relationships with his siblings Shelly Hayes, Timmy (Jamie) Hayes, Joel (Megan) Hayes, and Libby (Jasen) Neuberger. To Doug, every relationship was important, and he extended his love to Resa’s siblings, Brian (Carol) Filiss, Max (Amy) Filiss, & Grace Filiss, as well as cousins, aunts and uncles, and distant in-laws. One of his greatest joys was being with his young nephews and nieces (Charlie, Lexi, Parker, Miles, Althea, Avery, Hudsen, Asher, and another on the way) whose childhood wonder, awe and daily smiles made him feel hopeful while he was sick. After Max joined the family, Doug quickly formed meaningful relationships with, and expanded the family to include, all the Fisher family, a testament to being open to love in all forms. Doug made every family member, and every friend, feel appreciated and loved whenever they were in his presence.
Doug attracted good people wherever he went and was intentional with whom he shared his friendship. To him, friends were people who were fun, funny, and curious. Good times were had close to home, around his fire pit, or in his beautiful, serene garden, where great stories were shared: full of laughter, a bit of music, and a whiskey. Yet he also shared great adventures and connections on mountain bike rides (both through the alpines and the deserts), on tropical beach vacations, and on endless multi-family camping trips through the years. He designed his relationships to emulate what he hoped his children will develop as adults, friendships whose company make you feel both loved and proud.
Doug professed to, “Choose curiosity over fear,” and refused to let cancer change his perspective on the world. His words were our guide to acceptance, “I believe that even the most trying circumstances and losses have an inherent positive side. It sometimes takes some time, and work, but it is there. This belief is comforting to me and has served me well over the years. A few things will not change, I feel lucky. Always have, always will. I have a huge, amazing family whom I love, and enjoy the company of so very much. My loving, beautiful wife, is my best friend, and I have a large group of friends that would be the envy of anyone with the sense to see it. I see no reason to stop enjoying and appreciating my good fortune. So I’m not going to.” Truly a life of good fortune, gratitude, and love.
There will be a private family burial at The Fairview Divide Creek Cemetery, at the family plot, in Silt, CO. The family will be sitting Shiva from Sunday November 7-Saturday November 13 from 4-7pm every evening at the Hayes family home. (visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/doughayes for more details). Please feel free to come share a story, a prayer, and a glass of wine.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday November 14, 2021 from 1pm-4pm at The Orchard, A Gathering Place in Carbondale, CO. Please consider making a donation in Doug’s name to either Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association.
Doug, although not a religious man, was incredibly spiritual and had no fear of death. He believed he will return to the energy of the universe and that that energy is love – He told his family, “I find such peace in the knowledge that our love will endure past our knowing.” We all promise to seek peace in that knowledge as well.
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