Dr. Harry Hayes, 69, of Bloomfield, formerly of Clarendon Hills, Ill., passed away suddenly on Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, in Bloomfield. Dr. Hayes was born Oct. 6, 1936, in Chicago, Ill., to Harry and Abigail Hayes.
Harry led an extraordinary life in education and leadership. He was a high school graduate from Mount Carmel High School of Chicago and attended the Coast Guard Academy, graduated from the Chicago Teachers College, was a Founding Member of the Windy City Debating, Debunking and Literary Society, and a graduate of the University of Illinois with a doctorate in psychology.
Harry recognized the freedom of education and higher learning at a young age. For more than 30 years he enlightened the communities of Palmyra, Wis., Bellwood, Ill., School District 365U Bolingbrook and Romeoville, Ill., Bourbonnais, Ill., and Bloomfield, where he served as the superintendent of schools. He led with vision, compassion and by example, traits that impressed all of those who knew him.
Harry lost his first wife, Donna J. Hayes (O'Connor), to ovarian cancer on March 11, 1998. Intrigued and beguiled by the southwest, he moved to New Mexico in January 1998. It was there that he met Mary and they were married Aug. 11, 2001. Harry and Mary found love and companionship and they enjoyed hiking in the Southwest. Together they traveled around the world to experience life, always enriching their own and those of others.
Harry will be intensely missed. His death is a severe shock, as he was a model of health and had qualified to compete in the N.M. Senior Olympics.
Harry believed in the innate goodness of people and always had a smile and encouraging words. He had a gift for reaching across cultures and made many friends in all walks of life. He made major contributions to his community, county, and state. New Mexico is proud to be chosen as his final home. Harry believed in the power of knowledge. Through his life's mission, the world is truly a better place. We love you.
Harry is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Carol Colvin (Larry), Anne Twist (John), Donna Hayes Rynell (Bob) and Margaret Hayes Keenan (Patrick); stepchildren, Kevin Neville, Kelly Neville Heck (Cary), and Melissa Neville; grandchildren, Madelyn, Zachary Christopher, Hayes, Ava, Jack, Shannon, Chelsea, Cody, Caitlin, Evan, Sarah, Larry and Samantha; brothers, Bill Hayes (Kathy) and John Hayes (Madeleine); and sister, Gail McDowell (Bill). He was an uncle to 19 nieces and nephews, godfather, mentor and friend. Harry was loved and appreciated by many.
Visitation and viewing will be from 3 to 5:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home in Farmington. Rosary and viewing will be at 7 p.m., also today, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Blanco. Cremation will take place.
Funeral Mass will be at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at St. Mary's Parish Center, 307 N. Church St. in Bloomfield, with Father James Walker, celebrant. A celebration of Harry's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Bloomfield High School gymnasium, 520 N. 1st St. A reception will follow at St. Mary's Parish Center in Bloomfield. Interment will follow at 2 p.m. at St. Rose Catholic Church Cemetery in Blanco.
Honorary pallbearers are his sons-in-law John Twist, Bob Rynell, Patrick Keenan, Cary Heck, Kevin Neville, Bill Hayes, John Hayes, and Billy Hayes.
Memorial contributions may be made in Harry's memory to the Bloomfield Boys and Girls Club, 701 S. 2nd St., Bloomfield, NM 87413.
Dr. Hayes is in the care of Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home & Crematory, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, (505) 325-8688; www.brewerlee larkin.com.