Pauline “Polly” Smith Welch Hayes

March 12, 2024
Pauline “Polly” Smith Welch Hayes Pauline “Polly” Smith Welch Hayes

Pauline “Polly” Smith Welch Hayes passed away peacefully from this life into eternity with Jesus on March 10, 2024 in Arlington, TX. after a long battle with Dementia. Polly was born to Walter and Ollie Smith on August 19, 1926 in Forest, TX. She and her family eventually moved to Barsola, TX then to Alto, TX. After high school, Polly moved with her father and mother to Highlands, TX. It was there she met the first love of her life, Winfred Thomas Welch. They married on February 23, 1945 and lived in Highlands, TX. After 25 years of marriage and two children, Polly lost Winfred to cancer. In February of 1973, she married the second love of her life, Gene Hayes. They were married for 46 ½ years. Polly lost Gene to cancer in September of 2020.

Polly was a faithful member of First Baptist Church, Highlands for 36 years, where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. After retirement from Exxon and Highlands State Bank, respectively Gene and Polly bought a small farm in Alto, Tx. They raised a few cattle and were charter members of Hilltop Baptist Church. They enjoyed traveling and seeing the U.S. in their trailer or RV with friends and family. In 1996, they moved to Tyler, TX for twelve years to be closer to her sister. They became active members of Green Acres Baptist Church. Polly taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, as well as being the famous organizer of the infamous “Tacky Party.” In 2008, Gene and Polly moved to Mansfield, TX to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Polly is survived by her children: Andrea Anderson and husband Paul of Bartonville, TX, Jana May and husband Jeff of Mansfield, TX. Grandchildren: Kristan Williams and husband Cory, Clay Anderson and wife Brooke, Justin May and wife Liz, and Jordan May and wife Lauren, and great grandchildren: Jenna, Allyson, Trevor, Garrett, Taylor, Olivia and Charlotte; and many nephews, nieces, and friends.

Family and God were the most important things to Polly. She was a person of faith, one who strived to make people happy and was always eager to help. As we say goodbye, let us remember that her spirit, her love, and her teachings remain with us. She lives on in our memories, in the love she shared, and in the lives she touched. Her legacy is not one of material things, but one of love, resilience, and the beauty of a life well-lived.

Funeral services will be Saturday, March 16 at 1:30 PM at the OT Allen & Son Chapel in Alto. There will be a visitation time from 1 PM until services begin at 1:30. Burial will be in the Old Palestine Cemetery.