Obituary: Francis “Frank” Fairclough Hayes

June 5, 1936 - February 6, 2021
Francis “Frank” Fairclough Hayes
Posted at 11:04 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 13:06:34-05

Francis “Frank” Fairclough Hayes passed away in Great Falls, Montana on February 6, 2021. He was born June 5, 1936, in Great Falls to Carrie Becker Hayes and Thomas Dean “T.D.” Hayes.

Frank grew up in Billings, attending Billings Catholic Schools. He briefly attended Billings Senior High School after a disagreement with a nun at Billings Central. He returned to Billings Central to graduate with his classmates in 1954.

While he pursued secondary education, Frank took a meandering path across the great state of Montana. He attended many of Montana’s fine institutions, including Rocky Mountain College, Eastern Montana College, Carroll College, and eventually earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Montana College in 1963.

He served his country in the U.S. Army during the 1950s and was honorably discharged in 1961. He took a detour to Washington D.C. and was a United States Capitol Policeman.

In 1966, he moved to Havre, Montana to establish the first Head Start program, never expecting to stay there long. During his time in Havre, he met Margaret Elaine Phillips, and they married on July 20, 1968. They made their initial home at Rocky Boy, where Margaret taught school, and Frank worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and later for the Chippewa Cree Tribe.

Frank returned to his railroad roots, taking up with the Burlington Northern as a hostler at the diesel shop. Frank’s lifelong love of politics resurfaced, as he made a run for eastern Montana’s U.S. House seat in the 1984 Democratic primary.

He brought his love of books to the Havre community, opening up The Book Store from 1985-1990, while continuing his fulltime work at the railroad. During his time at BN, he was a proud and active member of the United Transportation Union, Local 544.

Frank and Margaret moved to Great Falls in 2017, making their home close to Tom and his family.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.