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Grant Jerry Hayes

May 10, 1928 ~ August 21, 2022 (age 94)


Obituary – Grant Jerry Hayes 1928-2022

The Protired Geode


Jerry Hayes always wanted to leave the world better for having lived.  This he most certainly did, in his 94 years of living life to the fullest.  Jerry was a connector;  firmly connected to his Savior, Jerry spent his life connecting things - needs to solutions, dates to events, the perfect car to the right customer, and the right people to each other.  His amazing memory, and his generosity and interest in others, became legendary among those who knew him.   Drawing on a wellspring of gratitude, he always sought to see the best in others and to honor what they had brought to his life.

Jerry followed his sister Doris Ann and his brother Norman into life, being born to Grant E. Hayes and Lena Black in 1928.  Ten years later, his brother Phil joined the family.  Jerry was born into a car family and the love of cars and customers defined much of his life.  His father, Grant, once needed to transport cars from Ogden to Salt Lake.  Grant drove one, 9 year old Jerry drove the second, and Norm, age 13, drove the third.  Little Jerry was placed on top of a briefcase and was told to stay right by his father’s bumper.  Following the old Hwy 89, the threesome made it all the way to Salt Lake.  Jerry was hooked.  Cars became his passion.  He and his brother, Norm, opened Hayes Brothers Buick and made it a hub of car sales and service for 35 years. The Bicentennial year they proudly erected a 150 foot flagpole and the biggest flag ever seen in the Salt Lake Valley.  It remains a landmark to this day.

The history of the car business in Utah was both recorded and shaped by Jerry.  He served as Executive president of the Utah Auto Dealers Association for 7 years and was inducted into the UADA Hall of Fame in 2003.  He also served as the vice president of the National Auto Dealers.  Deeply engaged in life, he was also a leader in many civic organizations and causes. 

Jerry loved his country.  In 1951 he moved his beloved bride, Joyce Rasmussen, to New Mexico, after enlisting in the Air National Guard during the Korean conflict.  That same year his first son, Jerry Brent Hayes, was born, soon followed by his brother, Tim Hayes. Later Jerry completed his degree in Banking and Finance at the University of Utah.  While raising the boys, Joyce and Jerry both worked at the dealership.  Jerry took personal interest in every employee and customer, his warm smile and loyalty inspiring the same in others.  Friendships were lifelong for Jerry.  He learned from treasured mentors and in turn always mentored others. 

He and the boys enjoyed cars, duck hunting, travel and most of all – spending time at the beloved family cabin at Fish Lake, where they jeeped every trail and created new ones as well.  The love of adventure and Fish Lake were passed on to the four grandchildren that joined the family.  Jerry adored his foursome and delighted in making them happy, while also teaching them valuable lessons in life to build their character.

Jerry loved his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The scriptures fed his soul.  He served a 2-yr mission to Hawaii, where he was able to spend 10 months serving the leper colony on Molokai.  His experience there shaped his life and deepened his compassion.  He went on to hold countless positions of church leadership, from bishoprics to High Councils.  His greatest joy came from his Wheels to Work program, where he was able to match donated cars with people desperately needing transportation.  He connected over 1,400 cars to people. As always, there was a story behind each connection and he loved to share the stories.  He lived by his creed: “Live righteously.  Live unselfishly.”

Jerry lost his beloved Joyce in 2007 after a 7-year battle with Alzheimers.  In 2009 he married Mary Matheson and inherited her large family, who adopted Jerry into their lives and cherished him for his devotion and kindness.  Mary and her family greatly enriched his final years.

As health and life challenges mounted in Jerry’s life, he remained a beacon of optimism and steadiness, blessing the lives of all who knew him.  When asked how he was, he’d always reply “I’m a happy man.” He’d remind himself and others of his motto: “Don’t worry.  Don’t hurry.  And Don’t get mad.”

Jerry’s last days were spent being surrounded by his family, as he contemplated which Buick he’d drive towards the light of his new beginning. 


Jerry is survived by brother Phil Hayes (Joan), sons Brent Hayes (Rinda) and Tim Hayes (Susan) and grandchildren Jenesey Hayes Sparks, Rylan Hayes, Blaire Hayes Isleib and Kendyl Hayes Yorba and 8 great grandchildren. 

Viewing: Wednesday, August 24th,6:00-8:00, Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 So. 2300 E.

Memorial Service: Thursday, August 25th 11:00 at the Parley’s 6th Ward, 2350 So. 2100 E., Salt Lake City.   Viewing held at 10:00.   

Internment: Wasatch Lawn Mortuary

The Hayes family offers their heartfelt thanks to the outstanding staff of Spring Gardens Senior Care Center. 

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Grant

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Holbrook Mortuary

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


August 24, 2022

6:00 PM
Holbrook Mortuary
3251 South 2300 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Memorial Service
August 25, 2022

11:00 AM
Parleys 6th Ward
2350 South 2100 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

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