Darrel “DJ” James Hayes, 62, born in Muskegon, Michigan but a long-time resident of Texas City, Texas passed peacefully in his sleep Saturday, February 25, 2017. He will be inurned in the Columbarium Wall of Houston National Cemetery on Friday, April 14, 2017 during a private service.
Per Darrel’s wishes, a true Celebration of Life will be hosted on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from Noon — 5:00 pm at Diamond Jim’s Saloon in Texas City. This family-friendly event will be open to the public with a kids’ station, BBQ plates (donations requested), and live music to begin at 1pm. Darrel’s family will be donating all proceeds from this event to the Military Warriors Support Foundation in his honor.
Darrel proudly served with the 101st Airborne Division, “Screaming Eagles”, of the United States Army with stations in Germany and Panama. He was honorably discharged in 1978. Darrel was extremely proud to be a Veteran and was a true Patriot.
After meeting his best friend/”brother”, Jack Whitby, in the Army, Darrel moved to Texas to work for Whitby’s Piano Store in La Marque, TX. In 1980, he began working as an operator at Amoco Oil Refinery and transitioned with them to BP where he retired in 2008. Also in 1980, DJ met and married his one true love, Rebecca Hughes of La Marque, TX. During their union, they had two daughters who were his prized treasures: Melody Lynne (Hayes) Naranjo and Brandi Michelle (Hayes) Young. He was a member of the American Legion, successfully serving the organization for many years as Service Officer for Post #89. He regularly contributed to many VFW Halls, Elks Lodges and AMVETS Posts nationwide. Darrel never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need with no questions asked.
Darrel is preceded in death by: father, Korea veteran, Sgt. Raymond James Hayes, Michigan; mother, Mabel Pearl (Cochran) (Hayes) Strecker, Arkansas; beloved grandmother, Gertrude Cochran, Missouri; aunt, Bonnie (Cochran) Livesay, Missouri, and many others.
Darrel leaves to grieve: brother, Vincent Hayes (loving wife, Sue) of Michigan; brothers, Jack and Jimmy Whitby, Dallas/Ft. Worth; ex-wife, Rebecca Hayes, Hitchcock; daughters, Melody (husband, Patrick Naranjo), Friendswood; Brandi (husband, Chris Young), Houston; granddaughters, Hallie Dusseau and Cadence Naranjo, Friendswood; and a very large, loving group of aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and close friends from coast to coast.
“Don’t tell me what to do; that pisses me off”
—Darrel James Hayes