Obituary of Valita Mae Hayes
Valita Mae (Foster) Hayes, 81, of Skippack, PA, passed away Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at her residence. She was the beloved wife of the late Lt. Col. John Wade Hayes who passed away in 2004.
Born March 6, 1940, in Pleasantville, NY, she was one of six children of the late Gilbert and Bessie (Ackerman) Foster. Valita had a blessed life growing up in Briarcliff and Armonk, NY. She was trained in ballet and kept her toe shoes as a memento. She did pairs skating with her brother and continued to love the sport throughout her life. She also did some print modeling resulting in photos that captured her youthful beauty.
While attending a dance at West Point, Valita was introduced to Cadet John Hayes. Their romance blossomed and they married in 1963, right after John's graduation. They soon had four small children and moved frequently as a military family, finally transitioning to the private sector, and later settling in Randolph, NJ. They had many memorable family vacations on Hilton Head Island which later grew to include extended family all in one big house.
When the kids were grown, John convinced Valita to overcome her fear of flying to travel abroad. She enjoyed Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the UK, and Puerto Rico. They also enjoyed new activities like horseback riding and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. In 2003, the entire family celebrated John and Valita’s 40th wedding anniversary on a cruise to Bermuda.
Valita loved tennis and paddle tennis, water aerobics with friends, and cross-country skiing with her family. Visiting Florida with her sisters and brother were also very special times for her.
Valita had beautiful grace and stature but was also approachable, warm, and fun. She was a protective and loving mother and in return had the undying devotion of her husband and children. She maintained friendships with a handful of people from each place she lived and treasured those friendships. She also received excellent care and lots of love from her caregivers Lisa, Glenna, Jill, Victoria, and Georgia who have become extended family.
She is survived by her children, Carol Guthridge and her husband, Gary, of North Wales, PA, Diane Hayes and her husband, Timothy Puttfarcken, of Brookeville, MD, John Hayes and his wife, Stacey, of Winston Salem, NC, and Elizabeth Benefiel and her husband, Richard Meise, of Pasadena, MD; grandchildren, Lyndsay, Amanda, Christie, Courtney, Justin, Christian, Brooke, and Austin; her brother, Gilbert Foster; and her sisters, Betty Luszcz and Linda Deak. She was predeceased by her sisters, Arline Sullivan and Barbara Koehler.
Relatives and friends are invited to Valita’s celebration of life beginning with the visitation on Saturday, March 5, 2022, between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM at Keystone Fellowship Church, 427 Stump Rd. North Wales, PA 19454. The memorial service will follow at noon.