George was born November 9, 1935 in Marshall, Texas. He was the first child of George Herman and Nellie Elsie (Morton) Hayner. Voted, Most Likely to Succeed, at Karnack High School, he furthered his formal education at East Texas Baptist University (BS, Business/Religion) and the University of Arkansas (MS, Organizational Management).
He married his childhood sweetheart, Dorothy Ray Fortune, on June 8, 1956 at the Karnack Baptist Church in Karnack, Texas. In their married life they have lived in 17 different places. Their 64 years of anniversaries were celebrated together across the globe: the 25th anniversary in Frankfurt, Germany, their 40th in Kiev, Ukraine, their 55th in Sofia, Bulgaria, and recently their 64th at their home in Lampasas. Their favorite love song was Always, and they continued to share the song with each other every day during George's hospice care and sing not for just an hour, not for just a day, not for just a year, but always.
Though his primary career and retirement were with the United States military, early in life he developed salesmanship traits. As a young boy he sold White Cloverine Salve to the residents of Karnack and to all of his relatives in the community of Gill. By the time he was in the eighth grade he was buying his own school clothes. While in high school he baled hay in the summer and worked as the church custodian. After high school graduation he worked six years for Rose Oil Company, and in 1956 he was one of their youngest station managers. George out-sold everyone. Through those years he won numerous awards and trips that he and Dorothy enjoyed. The work plan of salary + commission was right up his alley. He was steady, courteous and persistent. He continued to use his quiet, trustworthy attitude into retirement as he enjoyed success in selling restored furniture, antiques, and collectibles.
George's military career began shortly after his 18th birthday when he joined the Texas Army National Guard in Marshall, Texas. He did his basic training in Marshall. Meetings were held in an old building on South Washington Street and close order drills were done in the city park. When the 49th Division of the Texas National Guard was mobilized in 1961, George went to Fort Polk, Louisiana. His active duty Army career spanned seven years with two tours in Germany and a year in Vietnam where he earned the Combat Infantry Badge.
He belonged to the Air Force Reserve at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana while in college in the 1970s. He then became a full time reservist with the United States Air Force with assignments in Arkansas and California, attaining the rank of Senior Master Sergeant.
Adding to this, he served part-time with the Army Reserve and the Texas National Guard on active duty as Recruiting NCO.
His entire military career included 32 years of active and reserve service.
George made his profession of faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized at age 14 at Karnack Baptist Church. In his boyhood he was active in Royal Ambassadors, Sunday School, and Training Union. His parents' Christian influence was powerful in his life. His walk with his Lord had its foundation in church. He was active in the churches and chapels everywhere he and his family would live throughout the years. In April 1984 he was ordained a deacon at Bethel Baptist Church, Frankfurt, Germany. He served in that same honored capacity in numerous churches, including First Baptist Church, Lampasas, where he was given the status Deacon Emeritus in March 2019. On a threatening night in the central highlands of Vietnam, George promised the Lord that if He would bring him through that crisis he would do anything that Christ required of him. His life would bear out the fulfillment of that commitment.
In retirement he and Dorothy worked to carry out Christ's Great Commission on a global scale. From 1995-2013 George and Dorothy engaged voluntarily in ministry with the European Baptist Convention and the International Baptist Convention. Their ministry took them to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine. George has said, Growing and going have brought me closer to the Lord and given us a range of friends we could never have imagined. God is so good. His life bore out his witness and his faithful service to Christ, whom he always sought to serve and honor, has now culminated in the direct hearing from Jesus: Well done, good and faithful servant... Enter into the joy of your Master.
George is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his daughter, Kristanna Hayner (Nick) of Bastrop, Texas, his son, Clint Hayner (Sissie) of Mertzon, Texas, his sister, Beth Hayner Martinez of Missouri City, Texas. Opa's grandchildren: Hunter East (Allisan) of Melbourne, Arkansas, Justin Milam (Nancy) of Lampasas, Texas, Ross Bradley of New Hampshire and Kayla Hayner Rhymes (Bobby) of Mertzon, Texas. His nine great-grandchildren: Wrenna, Caddo and Clay East; Bradley and Katy Milam; Boston Bradley; Trigger, Ryder and Colt Rhymes. Extended family: David Bevans, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Tarah Martin, Crosset, Arkansas. And one other deserves mention: George's poodle, Shelly.
He was preceded in death by beloved daughter Katrinna, his parents, his brothers Morton and Jimmy, and brother-in-law Paul Martinez, and his dearest lifelong friend, Wayne Moore.
Micah 6:8 reads: He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Those who knew George Hayner have seen all of those things lived out successfully. To say that it is an honor to have known him seems to fall short, for with a man like George, the goodness of his life is immeasurable and words do not fully express the lasting imprint he has made on our lives. He will be missed but never forgotten by his family, his church, and his friends all across the world.
Services: Friday July 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Lampasas, Texas.
Memorials to honor George may be given to the International Baptist Convention through International Baptist Church Ministries, attention George Hayner Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 833276, Richardson, Texas, 75083 or online: https:ibcmworld.com/donations.