ALAN B. HAYES

1945 - 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Alan Bradford Hayes, a dear friend, mentor, and beloved member of our community whose generosity knew no bounds. Alan passed away at his home on Saturday, April 13th, 2019.

Born in Waltham, Massachusetts in November, 1945 to Ruth Nowell Hayes and Robert Lester Hayes, Alan is survived by his sister, Louise Hayes Booth; brother-in-law Forrest Booth; niece Kristin Booth; and of course his adored cats, Franz and Anita.

The child of a military family, Alan spent his younger years in constant motion. From Dayton, Ohio to Boston and then overseas to Germany for a year where his father worked for the Signals Corps spying on the Soviets. Then it was back to the States to Arlington, Virginia for four years before returning to Europe.

Alan received most of his early education in American public schools or at the Army dependents’ schools on military bases abroad, most notably in Fontainebleau, France, while his father worked in Napoleon’s Chateau with French, German, and English co-workers.

As Alan grew older he developed a deep curiosity in mathematics and engineering. A determined academic, Alan excelled in his studies both abroad and at home and in the spring of 1963, he graduated from Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona before heading off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He stayed at MIT for six years and earned both a Bachelors and a Masters in Science and Engineering where one of his thesis projects was an early prototype of the modern day computer mouse.

While living in Boston, Alan was indoctrinated in the life-long—and more often than not—painful endeavor of becoming a passionate Boston Red Sox fan; an obsession that lasted right up to the day of his death. The consummate aficionado to the Red Sox Nation, Alan watched nearly every single game and was even able to witness his beloved team win four world series titles.

In the late summer of 1969, Alan moved to Salt Lake City to earn his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah’s Department of Electrical Engineering. He graduated in December 1972.

Following graduation, Alan worked for Sperry Univac and Software Sciences for 5 years in Salt Lake where he designed a real time encrypted digital telephone before returning to the University of Utah to work as a Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department. At the U, Alan consulted, researched, and taught about self-timed logic design and data-driven computers. Alan stayed at the university until 1983 before joining Evans & Sutherland, designing high-performance computer graphics systems.

After two decades at E&S, Alan took some time off and then started working at Realm Systems part time allowing him to ski and cook more. Realm collapsed nearly a year later, but a small group of engineers including Alan went on to start a new company called Fusion-IO that specialized in creating PCIe attached solid-state computer storage units. With Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on their board, Fusion-IO went public and was eventually bought out by SanDisk. At that point, Alan retired permanently.

While Alan was justifiably proud of his achievements in the engineering field, including numerous patents throughout the span of his career, he was probably most enthusiastic about his time and accomplishments within the Utah ski racing community.

During his Ph.D. studies in the early seventies, Alan lived with a family that had a son involved in ski racing. He started going to the races with their son and became fascinated with the sports’ precise mathematical timing and points calculations. Alan soon started working on races for the Park City Ski team and eventually held the role of Intermountain Division ACC Chairman. During this time Alan developed a race software package, MacRace, which continues to be used today. Most recently, Alan has volunteered at the Snowbird Ski Education Foundation as a valued member of their timing crew.

In December of 1985, Alan was a Technical Delegate for a speed series in Big Mountain, Montana where a young up-and-coming fifteen-year-old won all the races. This qualified the young man to race in that years’ Nor-Am races and US Nationals. Being from Alaska, the racer couldn’t reasonably afford to travel to all of the events, so Alan generously opened his house that winter and spring. That racer was Tommy Moe—who, years later went on to win gold in the Downhill at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

During Alan’s time as the Intermountain ACC Chairman, he was invited by ski coach Olle Larsson to sit on a committee exploring the possibility of founding a world-class ski racing academy in Salt Lake City. That committee designed what today is known as the Rowmark Ski Academy, nested within the prestigious Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School.

For the first two years of Rowmark’s existence, Alan served as the academy’s most-trusted advisor and was an endless source of guidance to the upstart program as it found its feet and morphed into the esteemed academy of today. As made passionately apparent by Rowmark founder, Olle Larsson, “Rowmark would not have made it in those first two years without Alan!” Larsson said. “His generosity to our program and to those around him were second to none.” Alan’s generosity to others knew no bounds. He gave and gave with nothing expected in return.

From the inception of Rowmark Ski Academy, Alan was generous enough to volunteer his time and open his home to over thirty athletes and assume his role as their host parent. For nearly thirty-five years, Alan hosted a vast array of young men who went on to have successful careers: from business executives, to Navy SEALs, writers, Tour de France cyclists, Olympic Gold Medalists, architects—Alan was a pivotal influence in a critical moment of each of their lives. He taught each and every host kid the importance of personal responsibility, accountability and cleanliness, while demanding maximum effort both academically and athletically. The Alan Hayes Intermountain Division Scholar Award was named after him to recognize his lifetime of service and support to the entire ski racing community.

Over the course of the past thirty five years, he continued to give. 

Whether it was the countless dinners he labored over in the kitchen while blasting Mozart, spaghetti sauce splashing on the ceiling, to tutoring kids with their studies, or going out of his way to help them financially—Alan never asked for anything in return. The lives he touched over the years are too numerous to calculate. The favors he did too copious to quantify.

On the surface Alan was a quiet man who enjoyed the simple things in life. But when you got to know him, you learned he was never one to swim with the current. He was fiercely independent, loyal to a fault, and had a burning altruism within him that warmed the lives of those he loved and cared about.

As many of his host kids can attest, he was a father figure to us all, taking us in one by one, a stream of wandering misfits and adventurers, trying to find our way on the journey to becoming men. He gave us belonging in a tribe, and by caring about us for no good reason, he offered safe passage to adulthood. Now it is our turn to come together and repay our debt, show him the love he gave us, and give him safe passage home.

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