John Aulton Hayes, 63, attorney, scuba diver

John Aulton Hayes, a Baltimore attorney and scuba diver, died of heart failure Friday at his Fallston home. He was 63.

Mr. Hayes was born in Greenville, S.C., and raised in Wilmington, N.C. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and University of Baltimore School of Law.


Mr. Hayes, who maintained a general law practice for more than 30 years, was named the 1999 Volunteer Lawyer of the Year by the Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Association for his interest in assisting those who could not afford legal services.

Even though Mr. Hayes had suffered for years from a chronic back ailment, he refused to let it interfere with his work.


"Johnny is fondly remembered by his peers for some of his remarkable appearances before the Baltimore County Circuit Court," said a sister, Sylvia H. Badger, retired Sun and Evening Sun society columnist who lives in Centreville.

"On one occasion, his back pain and accompanying spasms had regressed to the point that he could no longer stand and was compelled to drop to his knees to question witnesses and argue motions before the judge," she said.

He had been an accomplished scuba diver and enjoyed diving in the waters off Belize.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

In addition to his sister, Mr. Hayes is survived by two brothers, Lawrence P. Hayes and Donald S. Hayes, both of Wilmington, N.C.; another sister, Ann Johnson of Knoxville, Tenn.; and a stepbrother, John N. Gore of Jupiter, Fla. His marriage to the former Betsy Albert ended in divorce.