Margaret O. D. Hayes photo

Margaret O. D. Hayes

If your heart is in your dream

No request is too extreme

When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do

Margaret Olene Daniels Hayes lived a life full of family, fun and adventure for 95 years. Olene died Friday, July 5, 2019 and she leaves behind a clan of relations who looked to her as their matriarch.

A proponent of whistling, card playing and dessert before dinner, she couldn’t turn down a dare, especially if there was a sprinkling of mischief involved.

Olene was born Jan. 9, 1924 in Dahlgren, Virginia to Bartow and Mabel Daniels as their third of four children. She relocated to Virginia and grew up avoiding responsibilities indoors as much as possible in lieu of yard work and hours on Machodoc Creek in her rowboat.

She met Ron Hayes and married him Feb. 20, 1944. When he passed in October 1998, she lost her cherished friend and partner, but she also gave up wearing dresses and cooking as a general rule. She believed kitchens were only necessary because they came with the house when you bought it. The restaurants of Sebring, Florida are collectively mourning her passing.

Ron and Olene raised their daughters, Ronna and Bonnie, in King George, Virginia where they played countless rounds of golf before enjoying their retirement in Florida. They first spent winters in the Florida Keys in their camper trailer where Olene enjoyed fishing and beach-combing for shells to use in the creation of endless crafts.

As their five grandchildren can attest, there was little downtime when spending vacations with Grandma Hayes. She taught them to shuffle cards, ride roller coasters and not take life so seriously. Even when she elected to join the Red Hat Society, she chose to make her required headgear from a red bra embellished with purple beads.

After the age of 75, Olene continued to find escapades wherever she could. She traveled to Europe with her daughters, gathered a band of women from the family in Las Vegas, went in a hot air balloon and went parasailing. She completed jigsaw puzzles constantly and never looked at the picture on the box and was always anxious to find an opportunity to teach a game to anyone new ... provided they didn’t cheat or make the mistake of winning.

Like a bolt out of the blue

Suddenly it comes in view

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true

Olene was preceded in death by her husband, Ron; and her sister and brother, Mary and Bartow. She is survived by her brother, Martin; daughters, Ronna Mason (Jim) and Bonnie Cauffman (Fred); grandchildren, Kim (Chuck), Donnie (Shelly), Pam (Kevin), Eric (Shannon) and Danielle (Jake); 10 great-grandchildren, and her best friend and companion, Barbara Doane.

Olene’s dream for her family and friends was to seek adventure, humor and connection with others. We promise to put our hearts into her dream and into our own.

On Friday Aug. 16, 2019 at 1 p.m. a graveside ceremony will be held at the National Cemetery at Bushnell, Florida. Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019 a Celebration of Life will be held at the Sebring Elks from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Anyone wishing to donate to a charity in her name please consider St. Catherine’s Catholic School, 2835 Kenilworth Blvd., Sebring, FL 33870.

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