Obituary: John Raymond
January 8, 1945 – June 26, 2020 John Raymond Hayes passed away on June 26, 2020 after a short and difficult battle with cancer. He was 75. John was a fifth generation resident of Washington County and a member of the 1963 class of Akron High School. He returned to northeast Colorado after completing his college education at the University of Southern Colorado, now CSU-Pueblo. John taught at the Arriba and Akron school districts for several years before turning his attention full time to his true passion, American quarter horses. A lifelong devotee of the “Skipper W” bloodline, he spent decades building John R. Hayes Quarter Horses (“Mares with a history producing foals with a future”) into one of the industry’s most well-regarded breeding programs from his ranch outside of Akron. After going into semi-retirement in 2005, John began a second career when he purchased and relaunched Horse Creek Sale Company, an auction platform devoted to the marketing of quality quarter horses, tack, and artwork. At the time of his death, the company’s quarterly sale events were consistently drawing consignors and buyers from hundreds of miles. John’s understanding of quarter horses was peerless, a passion project that he undertook every day with intense enthusiasm and fascination, and a legacy to which he was honored to contribute as a breeder, salesman, advocate, and, ultimately, student. Nothing gave him as much happiness as befriending another adherent of the Weiscamp/Skipper W bloodline, and over the course of his life he cultivated a worldwide network of close friends and fellow professionals devoted to the cultivation and appreciation of these remarkable animals. John was, above all else, a man in love with learning. His interests in current affairs, the history of America and Washington County, botany, and food were essentially limitless. He was a member of the session of the First Presbyterian Church of Akron and was involved with numerous local civic endeavors related to preserving and promoting his hometown’s vital legacy. He was a voracious reader and an incorrigible sweet tooth, quick to laugh at TV sitcoms and quick to anger at poor treatment of animals and the defenseless. John is preceded in death by his parents, Leland (“Bud”) and Alice, and is survived by his son, Kerry (Sutton), brother Randy (Linda), and cousins Carol, Norman, Kenny, Jim, Don, Lawrence, Ray, and Glenn. A graveside service will be held Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Akron Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.