Michael J Hayes

June 8, 1941 ~ November 22, 2021 (age 80)


Michael J. Hayes, Sr., 80, passed away on November 22nd in his home surrounded by his family. Mike was a beloved husband, father and grandfather; as well as investment banker and retail executive. He leaves behind his wife, Tina, of 55 years, along with their three children: Barbara, Michelle and Michael.

In addition to Tina, his children and many grandchildren, Mike also leaves behind his siblings Barbara Henward, and his brother Frank Hayes and sister in law Anna. He was predeceased by his brother-in-law, Banks Henward. 

Born June 8, 1941 in Altoona PA, to Charles and Mary Hayes, Mike was raised in Williamsport, PA. and a graduate of Williamsport HS. Mike went on to earn an Economics BA (Class '63) from Lycoming College. After his service in the US Army, he returned to work at his father's car dealership. While arranging the financings, Mike met Christina ("Tina") Casselberry, a beautiful & feisty lending agent. Eventually, Tina approved the loan. Regardless, he was smitten. They married April 23, 1966 and later moved to Ridgewood, NJ where they raised their three children: Barbara H. Ricciardi (Joseph) and Michelle H. Williams of Ridgewood, NJ; and Michael J. Hayes, Jr. (Mattie) of Jupiter, FL. 

In a Lycoming College speech, Mike once summarized his professional career as one that took him from “Wall St. to Main St." Mike's Wall St. career began at Merrill Lynch in the 1970's as a retail broker. He later moved to the boutique investment firm Oppenheimer & Co. as a Partner. There, his investment banking career progressed to Managing Director and Executive VP - Corporate Finance & Financial Services, a group that was primarily responsible for raising private capital for investments in real estate, oil & gas and venture R&D/Venture capital projects including the DeLorean Sportscar, the Lear Fran Jet, the Claridge & Tropicana Hotels, Atlantic City. 

Mike went on to form his own investment firm with his late friend, David A. Gardner, and provided the financing to rescue a Memphis-based, "Fred's Dollar Store" chain. By the time he retired from Fred's in 2008, Mike had served in a number of positions, including Director, CEO and Chairman of the Board. By the time he retired, he, along with David Gardner and Fred's executive team, had transformed a small regional dollar store chain into "Fred's, Inc", a publicly listed NASDAQ company with over 600 stores throughout the South. 

As a 1963 graduate of Lycoming College, Mike remained an active supporter and Trustee of his alma mater Lycoming College. In honor of his personal hero, in 2013 Mike and Tina established the college's annual Nelson Mandela Endowed Scholarship Fund and several other Scholarship Funds in memory of family and his dear friend, David Gardner. 

While an excellent golfer often seen at bucolic greens of the Ridgewood Country Club or Paradise Valley, he was never one to completely enjoy leisure time. During "semi" retirement Mike completed several investment projects. He pursued his passion for fast cars as a member of the Ferrari Club of America and took up Ferrari racing at national tracks including Watkins Glen and Limestone, CT with friend and fellow driver Ben Rotor. In later years Mike and Tina spent time at their vacation home in Paradise Valley, AZ, near his sister, Barbara Henward. There, they enjoyed golf, the good weather and new friendships. 

Mike’s greatest legacy are his 11 grandchildren, Joseph, Hailey, Riley, Remy, Samantha, Jake, Hayes, Jackie, Michael, Ella and Caden. His grandchildren loved their Bahpooh and will miss him dearly. 

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Michael J. Hayes Endowed Scholarship, Lycoming College, One College Place, Williamsport, PA 17701.

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November 24, 2021

10:00 AM
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church
1 Passaic Street
Ridgewood, NJ

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