Wambli Hayes

Wambli Hayes

July 19, 2003 - November 17, 2019
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Wambli was born in Pennington County, SD. He has two biological sisters, Victoria Tucker and Arnita Odegaard, to which he is very close to. He also has many other siblings, including Donna, Lorenzo Jr, Raymond, Sean, and James.
Wambli was put in foster care in 2009 and was placed in 21 different homes throughout the years. He had a childhood full of trauma and tragic events. He was moved around from group homes to different foster houses and it left him with wounds and scars that were not visible to others. He was very independent and even though he had people in his life that were there for him, he felt like he was taking on the world and all his problems alone most of the time.
Trauma changes how people process things, so life was difficult for him in many ways. He had a wonderful support team; Chelsie (LSS), Misty (DSS), Sarah (LSS), Marcus (DSS), and Heather, our family counselor, who have all been amazing and have always done what they felt was in his best interest.
In 2018, he met and became close to Jon Schuster. He spent quite a bit of time at the Schuster house and when a need arose, Kelly and Shannon decided to become foster parents. They went through the training and started the process to adopt Wambli. He gained an older brother, Kenneth Jensen (31) and his fiancé, Allison; three older sisters, Melinda “Mindy” Jensen (28), Hannah Schuster (21), and Olivia Schuster (17); a younger brother, Jon Schuster (15); and two nephews, Vance Caron (7), and Cameron Scott (11).
Wambli’s closest friends and family would describe him as having the biggest heart; he was full of compassion, always very polite, funny, and loud. He was always the jokester, super smart, and a beautiful person. He played football and video games as much as he could. He loved to lift weights, dance and listen to music, play basketball with friends, and he would race anyone who would accept the challenge. He made friends easily- he was able to talk to anyone and he would go out of his way to make the people around him happy.
Wambli was a sophomore at Sturgis Brown High School and played fullback and safety for the Sturgis Scooper football team. He loved going to the training camps and experiencing all the aspects of being on a team.
When Wambi came to live with us there were multiple challenges because of his background, but no matter what happened we all knew we were in it for the long haul. He was our boy, and he was no different than our other children. He bonded so well with everyone and was a regular and treasured part of our family.
The 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 verse is a strong foundation for our family. Typically, this verse is seen at weddings, but we embrace it as our family motto.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, ENDURES ALL THINGS.”
Wambli Zach Hayes, 16, of Sturgis, died on Sunday, November 17, 2019.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 22, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 23, 2019, at LifeSpring Wesleyan Church in Sturgis with Pastor Matt Shulaw and Pastor Ryan Smith officiating. Burial will follow at Bear Butte Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    November 22, 2019 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    November 22, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Kinkade Funeral Chapel
    1235 Junction Ave.
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    LifeSpring Wesleyan Church
    1638 Junction Avenue
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Matt Shulaw
    Pastor Ryan Smith
  • Interment

    November 23, 2019 | 11:00am
    November 23, 2019 11:00am
    Bear Butte Cemetery
    1147 Sherman Street
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Wambli Hayes - Memorial Program


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The Lemmel family sent flowers to the family of Wambli Hayes.
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Posted at 09:01pm
We met Wambli when he played basketball with our son, Adriel. He was a great young man with a powerful smile. We enjoyed knowing him. Our sincere condolences and prayers during this difficult time. The Weston/Dubray Family.

The Lemmel family

Posted at 02:39pm
You were here for only a little while, and did not get to experience life as it should have been. You are loved and will be missed! God bless you !
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The Lemmel family purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Wambli Hayes. Send Flowers


Austin Dirk

Posted at 02:04pm
Hey so sorry for your loss I didn't really know him but he was a great friend

Austin Dirk

Sabrina Harmon

Posted at 01:33pm
I didn't know him until this year as I would watch him play football. His sister, Victoria, is a friend of mine and I would see her at his games. She was so proud of him and told me about how he was with a great family that loved him and that he liked. I could see this after the games when they would go to him and tell him how proud they were of him.
Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

The Gill Family

Posted at 01:23pm
Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with you all. We love you all very dearly!
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