Anthony “Tony” John Hayes, age 65, of Boone, NC went to be with the Lord, whom he loved, on July 2nd of the year 2020.

Tony was born in Wilkes County to John Hayes and Ena Murrell Hayes. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sandra Miller Hayes of Boone, son, Christopher Noel Hayes of Summerville SC, son, Joshua Anthony Hayes of Boone, and daughter, Cassandra Hayes Vincent and husband, Matthew of Boone. Tony enjoyed his five grandchildren: Jordon Hayes, Dylan Hayes, Adeline Hayes, Dean Vincent, and Millicent Hayes. He was looking forward to welcoming his 6th grandchild Nash Vincent. Also surviving is brother, Richard Hayes of the Brushy Mtn community, stepmother, Ila Dean Hayes and step siblings, Sandy Sheppard, Daniel Vickers and wife, Kristy, Missy Mayberry, and husband, Sam, Robert Vickers all of N. Wilkesboro, and brother in law, Eric Brown of Columbia SC. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Tina Hayes of the home and Heather Brown of Columbia S.C., as well as a stepbrother, Christopher Church of N. Wilkesboro.

Tony’s chosen career path was one of nature, working in the medicinal herbal field including roots, barks, and leaves. He started out as a teenager working for Arthur Lowe Fur & Herb company of N. Wilkesboro. In 1981 he went to work for Wilcox Natural Products in Boone. In 2000 he started his own company & became President of Ridge Runner Trading Co of Boone.
He has been a successful and well-respected member of the medicinal herbal products industry. Recently he was honored to be interviewed by the Smithsonian Institute (Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage) in Washington D.C. to record his knowledge and extensive experience of ginseng for future generations.

Tony had many passions & hobbies throughout his life. Some of his favorite hobbies include boating & fishing, which he indulged regularly. He had a great love of the outdoors, mountains, forests & waterways. He loved geography and was often introduced as a “walking talking map of Southern Appalachia.” Gardening, landscaping, wild crafting were among his passions. Tony was an expert cook & grill master. He loved music, particularly the drums which he played with gusto. He was a devoted and beloved member of the 12 step recovery community, of which he enjoyed being of service to others.

He loved and was loved by his Lord, family, friends & his community. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service to honor Tony and celebrate his life will be held sometime in the upcoming months. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Daniel Boone Native Botanical Gardens. Address is as follows; P.O. Box 1705, Boone, NC, 28607.

Funeral Homes