Cover photo for Robert Lee Hays's Obituary
Robert Lee Hays Profile Photo
1956 Robert 2020

Robert Lee Hays

November 23, 1956 — July 31, 2020

Robert Lee Hays
Robert Lee Hays, age 63, a resident of McAllen, Texas, passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020, at Renaissance Hospital, McAllen, Texas.
Robert was born on November 23, 1956, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. He was the son of Robert "Bob" and Martha (Frith) Hays. Robert attended and graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1975. While in school, he was inducted into the National Honor Society his junior year, cast in two school plays, he received the DAR Scholarship, and was active in Cub Scouts and then the Boy Scout of America Troop 120. Robert was awarded the Good Citizen Award by the faculty, and wrote the senior class poem in 1975. He earned the God and Country Award for Boy Scouts in the 6th grade, earned his Eagle Scout Award in 1973, was active in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say, attending Camp Geiger in St. Joseph every year in July, and served as Task Master Counselor of De Molay. He received the DAR Olive Prindle Chapter Good Citizenship award in 1974, for which he wrote the Good Citizen Essay, where he won at State, and was the National Runner Up. Robert also attended the USA National Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho in 1969, and attended the World Boy Scout Jamboree in Japan in 1971. He attended and accepted Christ at the First Baptist Church, Chillicothe, Missouri, in elementary school. Robert was the local and county winner of the historical contest. He attended Missouri Boys State.
After high school, Robert attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. In 1976, he transferred to the University of Missouri Columbia, where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and began his studies in Political Science. In 1979, Robert graduated from the University of Missouri, earning his degree in Political Science. In the fall of 1980, he returned to the University of Missouri and began classes for his Master's Degree in Political Science, which he received in 1981. Robert then began his second Master's Degree in Journalism, which he received in 1983.
Robert began his teaching career as a Professor of Political Science and Journalism at the University of Texas-Pan American (now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) in Edinburg, Texas. He then received an opportunity to teach Political Science and Journalism in Seoul, South Korea at Hanyang University. While teaching in South Korea, Robert met and married his wife, He Young Son on July 4, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea. She survives of the home. He then taught at Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul until 1999. In 2000, Robert returned to the United States and began teaching Political Science and Journalism again at University of Texas-Pan American until 2012, when he developed Early Onset Alzheimer's.
He was a member of the Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, McAllen, Texas, where he was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 12040.
Survivors include his wife, He Young Hays of the home; his mother, Martha Hays of Chillicothe, Missouri; mother-in-law, Yangsoon Lim of Seoul, South Korea; one son, Stephen Frith Hays of McAllen, Texas; one daughter, Susan Carlyle Hays of Cincinnati, Ohio; and one sister, Beth Ann Putrah and husband Dan of Big Timber, Montana. He was preceded in death by his father; father-in-law, Sung Ki Sun; and one brother, Gary Robert.
A memorial service will be held at the Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Missouri, on Saturday, August 15, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association and/or the Festival of Lights and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, Missouri 64601. Online condolences may be made at www.lindleyfuneralhomes.com .
Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Missouri.
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