William J. Hayes

April 16, 1944 - August 5, 2019

Beloit, WI -- William J. Hayes, 75, of Beloit, WI, died Monday, August 5, 2019 in his home. He was born April 16, 1944 in Los Angeles, CA, the son of Kathryn Marie Hayes. William was an auto mechanic, before being encouraged by a friend to look into law as a career. He entered law school in 1973, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison on a three-year program in two years. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree-Rural Sociology. In 1975, he received his Doctor of Law from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and, in 2005, he received his Masters of Science Psychology Degree from Madison University. William started his law career in 1975 as a self-employed attorney licensed in the State of Wisconsin. In 1979 until 1985, he was employed by the Rock County District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney. In his time in the DA's office, he prosecuted all but one homicide case. Also, while working for the county, he created the Career Criminal Unit, a unit that had local police departments assist detectives in order to be pro-active and get the worst of the worst off the streets. He was also part of the county's first under-cover drug investigation unit. From 1976 until 1979, he taught law part-time at Madison Business College. In 1985, he opened his own private practice in Beloit, WI. William was a member of the Rock County Bar Association; American Bar Association; American Association of Justice; Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Wisconsin Bar Association; Illinois Bar Association; Winnebago County Bar Association; American Psychology-Law Society; National Academy of Criminal Justice; National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys and National Trial Lawyers. He was a past board member of the Wisconsin Epilepsy Association; Beloit Historical Society; and the Angel Museum. William was the chairman of the United Way (professional division), and sponsored the Beloit Flat Foot Run. William received many honors and awards, including, in 1981, an award for contributing to Respect for Law by the Optimist Club. In 1994, he received the distinguished and devoted service award as a Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers Board Member; 2015-2016 the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys; in 2016, he was ranked in the top 10 attorney for excellence in the field of Criminal Law; and, in 2017, he was recognized as a Top 10 attorney by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.

Survivors include his wife, Marlene Hayes; daughters, Nadine R. Hayes of Sacramento, CA, and Tracy A. (fiance, Danny Mackey) Spencer of Cameron, MO; son, Korry A. (Jaime) Spencer of Milwaukee, WI; granddaughters, Courtney (Andrew) Oliver of Osceo, WI, and Madysen (Christian) Hamm of Roscoe, IL; great grandchildren: Alan Oliver, Isaiah Oliver and Auri Oliver. He was predeceased by his grandmother, Emma Hayes; his mother and step father, Kathryn and Donald Faivre.

Family services will be held for William. Inurnment will be in Resurrection Cemetery, Madison, WI. Memorials may be given in his name to Agrace HospiceCare. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com