Cover photo for Bertha Kathleen Elliott Hayes's Obituary
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Bertha Kathleen Elliott Hayes

April 25, 1944 — January 30, 2024


Bertha Kathleen Elliott Hayes

Bertha Kathleen Elliott Hayes, known to her loved ones as Kathy, peacefully passed away on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, in Haywood County, North Carolina. She was born on April 25, 1944, in the same county she called her birthplace throughout her remarkable life.

Kathy dedicated herself to the noble pursuit of education and was a beloved school teacher in Lexington, Kentucky for an impressive 40 years. Her tireless commitment to shaping young minds left an indelible mark on countless students' lives. Kathy's passion for teaching radiated from her every word and action as she tirelessly worked to instill knowledge and inspire young hearts.

After graduating college with a Bachelor's degree, Kathy embarked on a journey of teaching that would become her lifelong vocation. The halls of the schools where she taught echoed with laughter, love, and an unwavering dedication to her craft. Kathy's students and colleagues alike were fortunate enough to witness firsthand the compassion and wisdom she brought to her profession.

While Kathy's professional accomplishments are undoubtedly admirable, it is essential not to overlook the immense impact she had on those closest to her. She shared a deep bond with her late husband, Eugene Hayes, who preceded her in death. Sadly, Kathy also experienced the heartbreak of losing her son, Tracy Lee Thurman.

She leaves behind two sisters, Wanda King and Linda Henderson, both residents of Canton. Though saddened by her departure, they will forever cherish the memories shared with their beloved sister. Kathy's memory will also be carried lovingly by several cousins, nieces, and nephews who were touched by her kindness and infectious spirit.

On January 30, 2024, Kathy's journey came full circle as she peacefully passed away at Silver Bluff Nursing & Rehabilitation in Haywood County, North Carolina. Though her physical presence is no longer with us, her spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known her.

The care of Mrs. Hayes has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Canton and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at

To order memorial trees in memory of Bertha Kathleen Elliott Hayes, please visit our tree store.


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