Lenore Slater Rose Hays


(Sept. 11, 2004)

At the age of 98 years and six months, Lenore Hays died Sept. 11 at the Long Term Care Center in Cody. Her granddaughter, Robin, was at her side.She was born March 13, 1906, in Minneapolis, Kans., to George William Slater and Charlotta Estelle Cleaver Slater. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Jack, George, and Loris; three infant sisters, and her son-in-law Richard M. Hay.

At an early age she moved with her family to Colorado, and then to Meeteetse, where her father was foreman of the 91 Ranch, owned by Eugene Phelps and Charles Belden. "Mr. Eugene" gave her a horse to ride for as long as they lived on the ranch, and she became an accomplished rider as a young girl.

She and her parents moved to Elk Basin, where she married William Hugh Rose. She and Hugh then lived in Gilt Edge,Mont., for a short time. They returned to Elk Basin, where two sons were born, William G. and Loris H. Rose. After a move to Billings, Mont., their daughter, Myrna Ann, was born.

Various relocations were necessary to obtain work and support a family during the depression years, one taking them to New York State for three and a half years, finally returning to Billings.

Sewing was her passion. She made her first doll dress at the age of three, and continued sewing into her 90s. In her early 20sshe obtained a loan of $50 from the Powell bank and opened a shop there for dressmaking and alterations, repaying the loan in a very short time. During the years that she and her children lived in Billings, she worked in the Jane Drake shop in the Northern Hotel at the time the hotel burned, and also had positions at Coles Department Store and Doyle's Dress Shop. To supplement her income for herself and three children, she worked at home late into the night doing alterations and dressmaking. She was accomplished in designing and styling women's clothing. A number of brides and their attendants in Billings were privileged to wear the beautiful gowns that she designed.

Lenore enjoyed bridge and made many lifelong friends at the bridge table. She continued playing into her last years at the center.

She married Lawrence Hays in Powell in 1955, and they retired to Hemet, Calif.,in 1967. After his death in 1980, she returned to Cody to be near her family.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Marjorie Rose of Cody, son Loris Rose of Oregon, and daughter Myrna Hay, of Cody; grandchildren William Grant Rose, Robin E. Ayres and husband Cliff, Mary K. Waudby and husband Michael, Richard B. Hay and wife Gail, Mark W. Hay and wife Susan; her sister-in-law, Irma Slater of Powell; eight great-grandchildren, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews and their families. Through the years, she has remained close to Juanita Rose, Aaron Rose and family, and Wayne D. Rose and family.

Cremation has taken place and private family services will be held later. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice.