James William Hays was born on August 16, 1930 in Sarepta, Louisiana to L.S. Hays, Sr. and Kathleen Trammell Hays and passed away after a brief bout with esophageal cancer on October 18, 2018 in Franklin, Texas with his son Joe and Joe’s wife Kristi by his side.
James graduated from Sarepta High School, graduated from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas, and served in the U.S. Air Force. While stationed in Japan, James met his future wife Zuleyha Nurmuhammed whose family was in the diplomatic service of Turkey. James and Zelly married at the U.S. Embassy in Tokoyo,