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Gretchen Hayes

Posted May 30, 2013 in Obituaries, West Des Moines

June 22, 1922 – May 28, 2013

Gretchen Hayes

Gretchen Hayes

Gretchen May Hayes, 90, passed from this life on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at Iles Funeral Homes-Westover Chapel in Des Moines. Interment will follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Des Moines.

Gretchen was born on June 22, 1922, in Dexter, IA to Enola and Elmer Gunter. On August 30, 1941, she married Owen J. Hayes in Park Ridge, IL and their marriage was blessed with three children, Karen Greta, Owen Jorgeson and Galen Gunter.

She attended Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant, IA and graduated from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, with degrees in journalism and music. She graduated from Drake Law School in 1965, earning her Juris Doctorate.

Gretchen traveled with her husband Owen while he served in the Army Air Corp during WWII. After the war, they made their first home in West Des Moines. They moved to Des Moines in 1952. She was the legal counsel for Blue Cross/Blue Shield until retiring in 1983. She always joked her first academic degree was “MRS.” as she and Owen were married nearly 65 years before his passing in 2006.

She is survived and lovingly remembered by her children: one daughter, Karen Hayes-Siever of Des Moines; two sons, Owen J. Hayes II and his wife Wendy of Park Ridge, IL and Galen Hayes of San Francisco, CA; six grandchildren, Bryan Siever and his wife Amber, Kerry Siever, Dr. Owen J. Hayes III and his wife Dr. Evelyn Thomson, Forrest Hayes, Marshall Hayes, and Sarah Brauner; seven great-grandchildren, Henry, Emerson, Zachary, Gavin, Joseph, Dino and Levi; Gretchen was preceded in death by her husband Owen Hayes; her parents; and siblings, Herman, Evelyn and twin sister Greta.

The family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Iowa Veterans Administration. Online condolences may be shared at


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

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