Murnike Hayes Obituary – The Gila Herald

Murnike Hayes returned home to be peacefully with the Lord in her home surrounded by her family on November 15, 2021. She was born in San Angelo, Texas on September 21, 1938, to her parents, Willie Rochelle (Big Daddy) and Surdaler Barnes (Big mom). She was the fifth of eight children.

In 1957, she and her family moved from San Angelo, Texas to Safford, Arizona, where she then met the love of her life, Elverner Hayes, and welcomed her daughter, Margaret A. Hayes. She started working at the Settles department store in downtown Safford. In 1968, she and her two young daughters, Yvonne and Elaine, who were her pride and joy, moved to California where she pursued her career in retail. In the 90s, she returned to Safford and soon after opened Nike’s Payday Loans. His business was one of his proudest accomplishments.

She enjoyed cooking, listening to the blues, and spending quality time with her family. Her nieces and nephews held a special place in her heart. Although she suffered a stroke in 2012, she continued as a matriarch and head of her family. Everyone in town knew who ‘Nike’ was. She was so admired. Every time she went somewhere in town she was stopped and greeted by others. Murnike had such a charming quality; a magnetic pull that attracted everyone to her. She was truly a loving soul.

Murnike Hayes

Murnike always tried to help those in need. She would do whatever she could to help others; sit with them; listen to their stories and offer the best advice. She had the quality of unconditional love. She gave so much of her love to others and this is what she passed on to her family. She dedicated her life to the Lord and was baptized on March 28, 2021.

Murnike was predeceased by her parents; brothers, Rochelle, Leroy, Wilbert and Willie, and her sisters, Rosetta and Mary. She is survived by her younger brother, Luther Barnes, and his wife. Carrie; daughters, Yvonne and Elaine; son-in-law, David, and his eight grandchildren, Shannon, Jessica, Amanda, Randy, Nathan, Tiffany, Stevie-Ray and Eric. She also had seven great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.

A visit will be held on Saturday, November 27 at 10 a.m. at the River Church. The funeral will then be at 11 a.m. at The River Church and interment services will follow at Safford Cemetery.

Arrangements are made by McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 E. Main St., Safford, Arizona, 85546, 928-428-1740,

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