Rita Bradshaw Hayes

Rita Bradshaw Hayes


Rita Bradshaw Hayes, 80, passed away surrounded by family on  December 4, 2023. Rita, the youngest of three, was born on December 29, 1942, to Lena Irwin Bradshaw and James William Bradshaw in Yazoo County. She graduated from Anding High School in 1960. After high school, Rita moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and resided at the YWCA to attend Draughon’s Business College. In March 1961, while living in Jackson, she met I.B. Hayes whom she married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton, MS on January 31, 1963. I.B. sadly passed away on December 10, 1966, in a jeep accident while actively serving in the National Guard.

Later on, Rita met Ben Hayes and the two fell in love and were married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton, MS, on June 14, 1969. As a mother of three, Rita dedicated her time to volunteering as a classroom mother, a Girl Scout leader, and a 4-H sponsor. Rita has been a parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church since 1968. An active member, Rita participated in various ministries throughout the years. She even embarked on several mission trips to Saltillo, Mexico, with various church groups. One of Rita's most cherished memories was "singing" for the Pope in Rome, where she joined the Saint Richard’s choir on a trip to perform for the Pontiff. Additionally, Rita was an engaged member of St. Dominic’s Auxiliary. Rita worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for various small businesses until the birth of her youngest daughter. After her children grew older, she went back to work and joined Canton Public Schools as a secretary. 

Following various roles among different divisions of the Department of Health, she became a purchasing clerk and took great pride in passing the Certified Procurement Professional exam. She was an active member of the Mississippi Association of Governmental Purchasing and Property Agents (MAGPPA). Before retiring in 2004, she also contributed her skills to the Department of Rehabilitation Services. 

Rita was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Betty Parker; and her husbands I. B. Hayes and Ben Hayes. 

She is survived by her daughters, Teresa Hayes of Brandon, and Angela Bass (Don) of Brandon; her son, Russell Hayes (Lauri) of Cedar Bluff, MS; her grandchildren, Joe Hayes (Callie), Mary Grace Bass, McKayla Hayes Coonrad (Josh), Kate Bass, and Jayne Bass; her brother, William ‘Bubba’ Bradshaw (Ruby); and many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends. 

A funeral Mass was celebrated December 9, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton, MS.  

In memory of Rita's life, contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital or Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

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