Kristal Allene "Kris" Hays

Jun 13, 1961 - Nov 14, 2022

Kristal Allene "Kris" Hays

June 13, 1961 - November 14, 2022


Kristal A. "Kris" Hays, 61, of DeWitt, Iowa, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, November 14, 2022, surrounded by her loving family after a two-year valiant fight with cancer.

Kristal Allene Kruse was born on June 13, 1961 in Maquoketa, Iowa, to Charles, Jr. and Judith A. (Ripple) Kruse. She attended Maquoketa schools and graduated from MCHS, where she was an outstanding basketball player. While growing up, she and her siblings rode horses and often showed them at the Jackson County Fair. She also was active in 4-H and represented Jackson County at the Iowa State Fair 4-H Fashion Review.

In 1981, Kris married Rodney Till. Two children were born to this union, Ryanne Ruth, and Austin Mycheal. The couple later divorced, and on September 27, 1991 she married John Hays in Maquoketa, Iowa. They celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary this year. They were best friends and watched sports together, took side-by-side excursions, and attended grandkids school activities. Kris was especially proud of their grandchildren and loved spending time with them. Additionally, she enjoyed flowers and gardening, and time spent with loved ones sitting around the campfire at the family pond.

Kris first worked at Skeffington's Jack and Jill in Maquoketa as a checker, and then was employed by Napa Supply Store in DeWitt. In 1996, she received her teaching certificate from Marycrest College in Davenport, and she immediately began working for Frances Willard School in Rock Island as a 3rd and 4th Grade Teacher, and later for the Rock Island School District #41 as a 4th Grade Teacher. A position she held until present as she was recently recognized as the Rock Island-Milan School District Educator of the Year for 2022.

Those left to honor her memory include her husband, John Hays of DeWitt, IA; children, Ryanne (Mike) Trusty of DeWitt, IA, Austin (Megan) Till of DeWitt, IA, and Ryan (Danielle) Hays of Monticello, IA; her seven grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Niya, Kolt, Knox, Gretchen, Memphis, Jacoby, and Samuel; her mother, Judy Tonderum of Maquoketa, IA; siblings, Kelly (Peter) Nelles of Mt. Horeb, WI, Korey Harmon of Maquoketa, IA, and Kraig (Judy) Kruse of Maquoketa, IA; aunt, Margene Beach; uncle, Gerald Owen; plus cousins and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Chuck Kruse, aunt Connie Owen, stepfather Harlan Tonderum, and father-in-law Roger Hays.

A private family memorial service celebrating her life will be held at Carson Celebration of Life Center in Maquoketa. There is no public service or visitation. Cremation has taken place. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorials may be directed to the family with proceeds going to a place near to Kris' heart, the Rock Island Center for Math and Science.

Online Condolences may be left at

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Kristal Allene "Kris" Hays, please visit our Tribute Store


Private Celebration of Life
Carson Celebration of Life Center

318 West Pleasant Street
Maquoketa, Iowa 52060

Get Directions

Sign in to share your memory

We'll never post without your permission

or use your email

By adding a comment, you agree to the following privacy notice and conditions of use

Email Directions

Enter an email address below.
Please separate multiple emails with a coma.

Text Directions

Enter a mobile number below

Get Updates

Sign up to receive a notification daily whenever there is an update on this obituary.


Thank you for sharing!

Provide comfort for the family by planting a tree in memory of Kristal Allene "Kris" Hays

Plant a Tree