Mr. K. Wayne Hays

Published 5:00 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

Hays, Kenneth Wayne, 95, died peacefully on August 21, 2019. Born in Van Buren, AR, a son of the late William “Bud” and Mary “Nan” (King) Hays, he also lived in Fayetteville and Elkins, AR; Seminole, OK; Greggton, TX; LaGrange, GA; Sharon, MA; Durham, NC; and Sun City West, AZ. He also summered in Newport, RI since 1992.

Mr. Hays was a pioneer in the nonwovens industry and served as the Charter President of the International Nonwovens and Disposables Association (now INDA). During his five-decade career in the industry, he was employed by Callaway Mills, the Kendall Company, Colgate-Palmolive, the Lutravil Company, and Freudenberg Spunweb. After retiring, Mr. Hays was again President of INDA, served as a consultant to Freudenberg and North Carolina State University, and helped found the Nonwoven Cooperative Research Center. Wayne began his career at Sinclair Oil and Gas Company.

Mr. Hays received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from Northeastern University. Wayne served as a pilot in the Naval Air Corps during WWII. Mr. Hays is survived by his wife of 72 years, Nancy Lang Hays, and three children, Peter and his wife Dena of Fairfax Station, VA; Leslie Atwood and her husband Dean of Fairfax VA; Daniel and his wife Summer of Banner Elk, NC; and five grandchildren Peter, Steven, Benjamin, Jena, and Madeline. Wayne was the brother of the late Wannie Longfellow, the late William Hays, and the late Jane Lumsden.

A service was held in Sun City West, AZ with plans for an August 21, 2020 memorial gathering in Newport, RI. Memorial donations may be made to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, Please join Mr. Hays’ family in sharing memories, pictures, or videos on his tribute wall at