Shirley F. Hays, 93, of Eau Claire passed away on Saturday, August 28, 2021, at Our House Senior Living in Eau Claire.

She was born Shirley Frances Olson on July 7, 1928, in Amery, Wisconsin to Fredolph and Pearl (Anderson) Olson. Shirley married Vilas (Bide) Hays of the Eau Claire area on November 25, 1961. They settled down in the same house in the Altoona Addition for the rest of their lives.

One thing was for sure, Shirley and Vilas spent most of their time together doing many things they loved to do as a couple. They loved to feed the birds at home. It was also one of their passions to be close to nature and God by walking and watching the wildlife on the Otter Creek Trail near their house.

Shirley and Vilas also loved being one of the first American Pickers. They went all over west central Wisconsin to flee markets, auctions, and thrift sales looking for items they could resale at various flea markets. Every year they had a table at the Pioneer Days in Eau Claire and would sell all sorts of treasure they had found together. They enjoyed bargaining a good deal with others at the flea market. One item that they looked for relentlessly was Roseville pottery. Shirley found, kept, and would never part with her Roseville pottery. She built one of the biggest collections in the county that was “for display only.” The Roseville pottery was a symbol of their marriage together being something truly rare and beautiful.

Shirley made sure to clip any newspaper articles from the Leader Telegram, good or bad, of any family members. She kept these articles in a family scrapbook to share with others in case they missed it.

Shirley loved her petunias in the backyard of her house. Shirley and Vilas would take care of the flowers together and enjoyed their many colors.

Shirley worked for many years at the Eau Claire Papermill. Later, Shirley and Vilas became fulltime custodians at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They dedicated their cleaning skills and spent hundreds of hours doing genealogy work for the church. Together, they helped many people with their family trees. During their genealogy work, they would help organize baptisms for family members who had previously passed. It is part of the Mormon faith to offer baptism of the deceased if they were not baptized in life. Shirley and Vilas loved their church, the people, and the functions. They truly loved each other and had their marriage sealed together at a Mormon Temple Ceremony.

Shirley was always one to help with her nieces and nephews by taking them to the dentist and doctor. When Shirley would babysit, she would take her nieces and nephews to church and to thrift sales, driving around as fast as she could. She could have been a racecar driver and gave the boys some competition.

Shirley loved to go to McDonald’s for breakfast with her friends. She was always one who never held back what she thought. She was quick witted and always appreciated a good conversation with family and friends.

Shirley is survived by one of the best brothers-in-law, Milo “Vernie” Hays, who promised Shirley’s husband to help take care of Shirley when he passed; sisters, Joyce, and Kathy; daughter, Linda; three granddaughters; and many nieces and nephews.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Vilas Hays; brothers, Arlie, and Donald; sisters, Irene, and Iris; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; nieces and nephews; and her grandma, Tillie Hays, who she missed very much.

The family would like to thank Our House Memory Care of Eau Claire for the care that was given to Shirley the past few years.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 2:00 pm at The Church of Latter-Day Saints. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow the service at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Topic: Shirley Hays Funeral Service
Time: Sep 8, 2021 02:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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