April 9, 1909 - March 29, 1991
San Francisco Chronicle (CA) -
Veteran newspaperwoman Elinor Hayes died yesterday morning in her Mendocino County home, which is filled with memorabilia of a 47-year reporting career.
She was 81 and had been in failing health for some time.
Ms. Hayes moved to Little River in 1974 after retiring from the Oakland Tribune. She was a top rewrite person in the days when reporters on afternoon papers took rough notes over the telephone and quickly fashioned them into stories under deadline pressure.
"She wrote stories with her heart as well as her mind," recalled Roy Grimm, a longtime colleague who was city editor during some of her Tribune years.
"She was sympathetic to people. She was not one of those harsh make-them-feel-bad kind of reporters," Grimm recalled. "Some of her stories would make you cry."
A native of Redding and educated in San Luis Obispo and Woodland, Ms. Hayes was 17 when she got her first news job, at the Woodland Democrat. She was a reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press before going to the Oakland Tribune in 1943.
Her last Tribune assignment was at San Francisco City Hall. In retirement, Ms. Hayes wrote a column of gossip and humor in the Mendocino Beacon until failing health forced her to stop last year.
She ignored the invention of the computer and continued to write on a typewriter. Her two cats, Amy and Molly, were with her when she died.
Ms. Hayes never married and had no immediate family. It was uncertain yesterday whether there would be a service.