James A. Hayes, 81, Little Compton


James Anthony Hayes, 81, of Little Compton, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Providence to Thomas Hayes and Johanna (Keohane) Hayes, both of County Cork, Ireland.

He leaves his wife of 53 years, Kathleen.  He was the loving father of ten children, Maureen and her husband Michael Harrington, Shamus and his wife Suzanne Hayes, Deirdre and her husband Louis Franchi, Emmett and his wife Bridget Hayes, Neil and his wife Jennifer Hayes, Justin and his wife Kelli Hayes, Dermot Hayes, Declan and his wife Holly Hayes, Bridget and her husband Eric Henley, and the late Brendan Hayes.  He leaves 20 grandchildren with whom he would spend all of his free time.  He also leaves his brother Charles Hayes and sister Elizabeth Bouchard.  He was the brother of the late Thomas, William, John, and Robert Hayes.

He was a graduate of Blessed Sacrament School in Providence. He served in the United States Navy and saw combat on the heavy cruiser USS Toledo in the Korean War Conflict from 1950-1953, and was a member of the American Legion.

Jimmy will always be remembered as Little Compton’s “Town Barber.”  For 44 years he considered himself the luckiest man in Little Compton doing the work that he loved to do, operating his own barbershop.  He formed a group that proved instrumental in saving Little Compton’s “Peckham Lot,” for recreation.  In a precedent-setting Rhode Island case, any appropriation by the town, including land owned by the town, is now required to be voted upon at the financial town meeting.  He served as a pre   sident of The Little Compton Little League and taught CCD at St. Catherine of Siena Church.  In 2007, Jim was honored by the Little Compton Community Center in recognition of going above and beyond in his service to the town.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, with visitation held at Fern Acres Funeral Home on 72 Willow Avenue in Little Compton, Friday, Jan. 3, from 4-8 p.m.




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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.