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Nelson Lynn “Lynnie” Hays

Nelson Lynn “Lynnie” Hays was born on February 25, 1946 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the son of Charles Abraham and Hazel Mildred (Baty) Hays. Lynnie departed this life in his home on December 17, 2012 after a long fought battle with cancer at the age of 66. He accepted Christ as his Savior at a young age and through many trials and tribulations he continued to believe and reached out to His Savior for His grace in his final days.

At a young age, Lynnie joined the U.S. Air Force, becoming a member of the Third TAC Fighter Wing as an Air Recog Specialist. During this time Lynnie served in the Vietnam War where he was shot down, which ended his military career. Lynnie received numerous medals and awards while in the military.

Lynnie enjoyed spending time with his family and dogs, cooking for many and helping others. He often played Santa in the Cabool Christmas parades, throwing out toys he had collected throughout the year; this brought as much joy to him as it did to many kids in the community. He was also a fan of golf, but most of all loved his baseball; he was a lifetime fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The stubborn feistiness that sometimes led to trouble as a child and young man served him well in his struggle with cancer as he used it, along with many prayers, to live two years longer than the doctors’ initial diagnosis.

Lynnie was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Albert Lee “Buttons”; and one sister, Lilly May Malady.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Julie; his brother, Ray Hays and wife Brenda of Sapulpa, Oklahoma; seven children, Guy “Eddie” Ellingwood of Cabool, Missouri, Kathy Erwin and husband John of Cabool, Melissa Cantrell and husband Tim of Graff, Missouri, Carrie Bowers and husband Jeff of King George, Virginia, Walter “Mike” MacDonald of Cabool, Amy Gayer and husband James “Partner” of Cabool, and Kayla Jenkins and husband Lee of Cabool; 11 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many other family members and friends.

Services were held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at Trinity Freewill Baptist Church with Donnie Wells officiating. Pallbearers were Tim Cantrell, Daniel Moore, Nathan MacDonald, Sean MacDonald, Lee Jenkins, John Erwin and Eddie Ellingwood. Inurnment will be at a later date. Arrangements were under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Angel Tree Program. Those may be made at Landmark Bank or left at the funeral home.

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