William Jon Hayes

April 17, 1940 ~ March 26, 2019 (age 78)

Hayes, William Jon

Age 78, passed on March 26, 2019. He was born April 17, 1940 in Warren, PA, to James and Margaret (Gerber) Hayes. Margaret died shortly after childbirth and Bill was raised by Joseph and Marguerite (Hayes) O’Leary in Sheffield, PA. Bill graduated from Sheffield High School in 1959. He enlisted in the United States Navy that same year, and received his Honorable Discharge in 1965. He was a former member of the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Department and the Sheffield VFW. Upon returning home, he was employed by Blackstone Ultrasonics.

He took a new job in 1966 to work at a new, British, subsidiary sales company in Sewickley, PA; Shandon Scientific, selling automate laboratory equipment for Cytology, Histology and Pathology to hospitals and laboratories across the U.S. Bill also met the love of his life at Shandon, Jean Holsinger. Jean and Bill were married on February 14, 1970, and were together for 48 years, until Jean passed away December 24, 2018.

He multi-tasked at Shandon, in Sales, Marketing, and traveling extensively throughout the U.S., England, France and Germany. He was also involved in the research and development of equipment for these disciplines. Upon the retirement of George Welch, president of the company at that time, Bill was promoted to president of Shandon in 1976.

He worked to actively expand the company’s offerings to these markets, through the acquisition of many complementary businesses worldwide. This expansion eventually let to the need to move to a larger site to allow manufacturing of products here in western PA, and Bill oversaw the construction of this facility in the RIDC Park West, Findlay Township. The company was eventually acquired by the Thermo Instruments Division of Thermo electron Corporation.

He also led the company in its continued support of many of these disciplines national, state and local societies, through continuing education assistance as well as the attendance at many of their shows and exhibitions. Some of these were the National Histology Society, the American Society of Cytopathology, the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and the American Society of Cytotechnology.  He also served on the Board of Slippery Rock University.

In 1999, Bill retired from the company, now known as Thermo Shandon. He wanted to be able to spend more time enjoying his outside activities. He loved to dance, and enjoyed swimming, golf, hunting, skiing and occasionally, racquetball. He also wanted to be more involved in wood turning, as well as a new hobby – fly fishing.

He was an active member of the American Legion Post 4, Penn Woods West Trout Unlimited and Turners Anonymous of Pittsburgh. He also was a member of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and became very active as a volunteer working with the veterans at the VA Hospital in Aspinwall and the VA Center in White Oak, teaching the veterans how to build fly rods and tie fishing flies. He was also beginning to be involved with another group, Casting for Recovery (CfR).

Bill was preceded in death by (all) his parents, his wife, Jean Holsinger Hayes, and his brother-in-law Robert McMillen. He is survived by his sister, Sherry McMillen, niece Melanie McMillen, Sheffield, PA and nephew Robert (Carleena) McMillen Jr., and his great niece and nephew Cayla and Ryan McMillen, Clarendon, PA. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Alison Holsinger, Sewickley, PA.

Visitation Thursday (April 4) 6-8 PM with American Legion Service at 7 PM and Friday (April 5) 9 AM until time of service at 11 AM at Copeland’s Coraopolis, 867 Fifth Ave. Rev. Stewart Lawrence officiating, Burial will follow at Sewickley Cemetery with Full Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, PO Box 695, LaPlata, MD 20646; the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 4401 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224; or Animal Friends, 562 Camp Horne Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237.



Donations may be made to:

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing
PO Box 695, LaPlata MD 20646

Children's Hospital
4401 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15224

Animal Friends
562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh PA 15237

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