Commissioner Deb Hays to be remembered at tree planting ceremony put on by NHCO

Deb Hays will be remembered April 5 at Airlie Gardens at a public celebration of life
Commissioner Deb Hays to be remembered at tree planting ceremony put on by NHCO
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:53 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - New Hanover County Commissioner Deb Hays, who died suddenly over the weekend, will be remembered at a special tree planting ceremony.

The celebration of life will be held Wednesday, April 5 at 1 p.m. at Airlie Gardens. Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says it will be a public celebration.

“This will be a chance for our community to come together to reflect and honor the life and work of Deb, and to dedicate a live oak tree that will grow, plant roots, and forever be a symbol of her love for this community,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark. “We hope that those who knew Deb can attend for fellowship, sharing of memories, and reflecting on Deb’s life of service.”

Hays, 64, died unexpectedly March 25 while visiting family in Charlotte. It is believed she died from a heart attack, according to a press release sent out by New Hanover County Sunday. The news left her fellow commissioners and friends stunned and saddened.

Hays was elected as a commissioner in December 2020 and served on many local, state, and national committees. She was also a realtor with Intracoastal Realty.

In her honor, New Hanover County flags on all buildings were lowered Monday and will remain that way through the period of mourning and celebration of her life.