William Howard Hay

ESCANABA — William Howard Hay, 83, of Escanaba, passed away peacefully on Good Friday, April 14, 2017, with his loving family surrounding him, showering their love upon him as he went to join the Holy Father and others who have gone before him.

Bill, affectionately known as “Jack,” was the son of Howard and Mildred (Thome) Hay. He was born on June 27, 1933, in Kalamazoo, Mich. On April 19, 1952, he married the love of his life, Audrey in Escanaba, raised his family, worked until retirement age and beat everyone at Cribbage. Bill was skilled enough at the card game to have two 29 hands in his lifetime.

He was an avid member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, participating in the church community, volunteering in church activities and welcoming new members to the fold. Bill was a giving person who never expected anything in return. He loved deeply and his family and friends were his deepest love.

Bill worked at Harnischfeger as a maintenance specialist until the business closed. He then went on to other “ventures” with his great friend, Rod Lanaville, until he secured a “real” job as a bus driver for the Escanaba school system. In 1995, Bill was hailed as a hero when his skills were tested by a driver using the wrong lane in Rapid River. His quick judgment saved the bus load of children and parent chaperones as they were returning from a field trip at Fayette State Park.

Along with Bill’s wife of 65 years, Audrey (Ettenhofer), he is survived by sons, Rodney “Butch” Goodyear of Peshtigo Wis., Dan Hay of Escanaba, Tom (Darlene) Hay of Gladstone, Paul (LuAnn) Hay of Escanaba and daughters, Bonnie (John) Turner of Peshtigo Wis., Lorrie (Kim) Dufour of Chugiak Alaska and Luann (Mike) Cutaiar of Marinette Wis.; brother, Bob Hay; sister, Sally (Peno) Ray; and special daughter-in-law, Anita. Bill’s family is many in numbers, so to avoid confusion, he called everyone “Jack” since he was blessed with eight children, 15 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; son, Steven; granddaughter, Carrie; brother, Jack; and sisters, Eleanor, Vera and Mary.

Visitation for Bill will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 500 Ogden Ave., Escanaba, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, April 24. A celebration of William “Bill” Hay’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Monday at church with Rev. Laura Woodworth officiating. Friends are invited to join the family for a meal in the church’s Canterbury Hall following the service to share their stories and love for this character called Bill, Jack, Flat Fish Bill or however you loved him best. Inurnment will take place in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at a later date.

The Allo Coolman Funeral Homes are assisting the Hay family. Please visit the website www.allofh.com to send online condolences to his family.