John Coleman Hayes, died peacefully in the home of his dreams on Jocelyn Hills. With his cherished companion of 10 years, Cynthia Despot, they really enjoyed life “on the hill.” John was 86 at his peaceful passing, surrounded by Cynthia and his three children. He was the only child of Reba and Coleman Hayes and is survived by daughters Holly Campbell and Lisa Mulderrig, son John Coleman Hayes III, eight grandchildren: Catherine Gallimore, Mark Campbell, Bryan Mulderrig, Michael Mulderrig, Elizabeth Mulderrig, Alyssa Hayes, Addison Hayes, Annabella Hayes,and three great-grandchildren: Walker and Jude Gallimore and Ryder Mulderrig.
John Coleman, as people called him, was a graduate of Hillsboro High School, Vanderbilt Engineering School, and Nashville School of Law. He passed the bar and often joked, “I stopped at many others,” but never practiced the law. Instead, he opted for the lowest paying job he was offered - Assistant Tennessee State Airport Engineer - so he could remain in Nashville.
A year after, he became chief engineer and was responsible for the design of more than 40 airports across Tennessee as well as additions to others during his six-year tenure. He then formed a consulting engineering/ architecture firm which he later sold to his employees in order to devote full time to real estate development and construction. Notable developments in Middle Tennessee include Woodmont Center, the West End Luxury Condominiums, Crockett Springs Condiuminums, and 20 & Grand Apartments. He developed over 25 apartment complexes, including two student housing projects, “Campus Crossings” at MTSU, housing over 1,400 students. John’s firm designed or developed numerous large subdivisions totaling in excess of 4,500 residential lots. At that time, John was the youngest president of the Tennessee Consulting Engineers Council, a life member of Corinthian Lodge, Al Menah Shrine, Downtown and West End Sertoma Clubs, and Hillwood Country Club.
He loved the outdoors as an avid golfer, snow and water skier, fisherman, and hunter. He traveled frequently in pursuit of his quarry to Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Hawaii, the West Indies, and Costa Rica. His favorite golfing trip was to Scotland, where he played 14 famous courses and shot 76 at St. Andrew’s - a score he credits to his 80-year-old caddie. His snow skiing adventures took him to Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, and North Carolina.
In lieu of flowers or donations, John Coleman would just want you to go out and have fun doing something you love with someone you love.
Visitation of friends from 9:00 am until 11:30 a.m. at Harpeth Hills Memorial Gardens Wednesday, June 7, followed by a celebration of life at 11:30 a.m., with burial thereafter.