Feb 22, 1958 – Oct 24, 2015
Victoria Elaine Hays, of Copperas Cove, was called home Saturday, Oct. 24th, 2015. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 9, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, 211 W. Avenue B in Copperas Cove. At 3:00pm there will be a military burial at the Central Texas Veterans Cemetery at 11463 SH 195, Killeen.
Vicky was born February 22, 1958 in Greenville, South Carolina to Gregory Mark Studt and Thelma Beatrice Studt. Graduating a year early from St. Louis Mehlville High School she worked her way through the University of Missouri and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Saxophone Performance in 1984.
In 1988, after attending East Texas State University, she joined the US Army Bands as a Bassoon Player. During an 8 year career she performed hundreds of concerts and ceremonies and parades on saxophone and bassoon while assigned to Army Bands at Fort Knox, Wurzburg, Germany, Presidio of San Francisco, CA, and Seoul, Korea. She particularly enjoyed touring California with the 6th Army Jazz Band on baritone saxophone.
At the Presidio, Victoria met fellow band member, Mark James Hays of Waco. After a courtship of almost 3 years, they were married June 1, 1996 in Waco. Vicky ended her Army Band career at that point but Mark continued his. As is typical the Army couple moved frequently living at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Converse, TX near Fort Sam Houston, Copperas Cove and Heidelberg, Germany. In 1998 they returned to Copperas Cove for Mark’s last tour of duty and remained after his retirement.
Vicky was a truly accomplished musician. She made use of her musical talent throughout her life. She performed in numerous ensembles including the UCSF Orchestra, Peninsula Concert Band, York River Orchestra, San Antonio Municipal Band, Heights Concert Band, Waco Community Band, Temple College Orchestra, Temple College Symphonic Band and, while earning Texas Teaching certification, the UTSA Wind Ensemble.
Vicky was an excellent photographer and enjoyed drawing, writing fiction, and gardening. She cared deeply for animals especially cats Lilley and Amy. Victoria and Mark loved to travel and enjoyed many adventures on numerous trips to locations such as Beijing, China, Hawaii, London, Scotland, Italy, Rome, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France and throughout the US. A highlight was a cruise down the Nile River in Egypt.
In recent years, she was blessed to be reunited, after many years separation, with her brother, aunt, and cousin. The family enjoyed a truly joyful Christmas in 2014.
She was a kind, gentle and generous soul and a loving friend and wife who will be terribly missed by her husband and all who knew her. We will live for the day we see her again.
She is survived by husband, Mark; brother, Patrick Studt of Madison, Wisconsin, and aunt, Shirley Connor of Leesburg, Florida and cousin Pam Connor of Atlanta and Amelia Katrina Hays of Copperas Cove.
Donations may be made to Fuzzy Friends Rescue, 6321 Airport Road, Waco, TX 76702, 254-754-9444, fuzzyfriendsrescue.com, the Scott & White Healthcare Foundation, 2401 S. 31st Street, Temple, TX 76508, 254-724-2768, foundation.sw.org, or the animal welfare, cancer or other charity of your choice.