Nancy Elinor Hayes (Thompson)
Nancy Elinor Hayes (Thompson), resident of Portland, Oregon passed away on March 6, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She was born the second daughter of John William Thompson and Joyce Edith Thompson (Schuette) on December 15, 1949, in Marinette, Wisconsin. After living briefly in Michigan and Minnesota, the family moved to Oregon where Nancy grew up. She attended public schools in Salem and graduated from South Salem High School in 1968. Like her mother before her, Nancy became a nurse, earning her Registered Nurse Degree in 1971 from Legacy Good Samaritan School of Nursing. She practiced nursing, mostly at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland for over twenty years. Nancy married William Lee Hayes on September 4, 1976 and they had three children together. They later divorced.
Nancy loved the Oregon coast, especially Lincoln City with its D River, once designated by the Guinness World Record as the “shortest river in the world.” She visited the coast often during her life and always enjoyed the beautiful sunshine as well as the blue waters. Watching sports was also an important part of Nancy’s life. She avidly followed the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Nancy enjoyed watching movies too, especially with family. Along with the movies she loved, she was passionate about music and was always so proud to say she was able to see her favorite band, The Beatles, in concert in 1965.
Nancy always knew how to make friends and she had many of them over the years, even keeping in touch with those who attended nursing school with her. She had a welcoming presence and loved learning about people.
Nancy was a very caring and loving human being who only knew how to share her love by making sure everyone she knew was special to her. She made sure everyone she knew made a difference in her life, and by sharing her love, she made others feel loved and special.
Loving animals was a big part of Nancy’s life. She adopted many stray cats over the years and especially wanted to promote the saving of wild horses and burros. She also loved plants and flowers, filling her yard with a small garden each year as well as flower beds and trees.
It was not easy raising three children as a single mother but Nancy managed. While she did, unfortunately, retire early from nursing because of her arthritic knees, this was a blessing in disguise as she always was happy to say she gained a new job, being a Grandma who helped raise William and Kaylah at home. Each of her children and grandchildren knew that they were loved and respected.
Nancy is survived by her three children, Jason Hayes (Michaeline also known as Mikey), Stephanie Murphy (John), and Molly Salecida (Kenny), and six grandchildren, Anthony Rushing (Brittani), Timothy Rushing, Mya Murphy-Strode (Mike), Ella Murphy, William Burger, and Kaylah Salecida. She is also survived by her sister Barbara Dittrich and niece Jennifer Dittrich as well as many cousins.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, John and Joyce Thompson.
Nancy will be remembered as a kind, caring person who respected others and a loving mother and grandmother. She will also be remembered for her great smile.
A service to celebrate Nancy’s life will be held at a date to be determined in 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Jude’s Hospital or an organization to rescue wild horses and burros.
“All you need is love” – The Beatles