Mr. John A. “Jack” Hayes, 79, of Uxbridge MA and formerly of Hopedale MA died at his home Wednesday evening (January 13, 2021) after living and coping with Myeloma for over ten years. He was the beloved husband of Susan LaMar.
Jack was born in Milford MA, the son of the late John A. and the late Mildred (McGrath) Hayes. He attended Hopedale public schools, graduating from Hopedale High School, Class of 1959.
Jack had an eclectic occupational history, which gave him a breadth of experience. When he was 12 years old he acquired a paper route in Hopedale, expanding it and eventually “subcontracting” with three other boys to cover portions of his large route. He developed a reputation for delivering under all circumstances; even after a hurricane left trees down and debris everywhere. But off he went on his bike, navigating the obstacles and stunning his customers.
At age 16, he got a job at First National Stores in Milford, helping to support his family as his widowed mother’s health deteriorated from Multiple Sclerosis. It gave him a wide variety of experience, and provided his first experience in a union, a loyalty which never waned even when he subsequently moved into management later in his career.
In 1960, he began a job in the stock room of Worcester County Electric, which later became Massachusetts Electric. Over the years he held positions as Truckman, Sales Associate in the Milford Store, Meter Reader, and various grades of Meterman. While employed there he served as the plant Union Steward for six years and for ten years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Electric Credit Union.
In the 1960s Jack served several years as a Hopedale Reserve Police Officer and a volunteer member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. In 1973, he first ran for the Hopedale Board of Selectmen, being elected that year and again in 1976 and 1979. In 1983, he became the town’s Administrator.
During this entire period he was deeply involved in the negotiations with Rockwell International as they first purchased and then began to divest of the holdings of Draper Corporation. Earlier this year in a memoir, Jack wrote “I have often reflected on my 30 years of service to the town. The last 20 years in particular the town experienced the most dramatic change in its history. The closing of Drapers and the building-out of the community were monumental events and some predicted that the town would never survive. I was a common thread throughout all of this, and I take a great deal of personal pride in that.”
After leaving town government and moving to Millbury, he started a part time job at the Centrum in Worcester. In 1994, he became the Chief Security Supervisor after a Convention Center was added, with an emphasis on customer service. In 2002, he retired in order to be free to follow his wife Susan wherever her journey & career took her. He accompanied her first to California and then to Ellicott City, Maryland. In 2016 they returned to Massachusetts and settled in Uxbridge MA.
Jack was a model railroader, finishing his most recent layout in 2019, in spite of his illness. He followed politics closely and to the end read the Washington Post daily, particularly his favorite columnists.
Along with his beloved wife, he is survived by his daughter: Suzanne Hayes Lesch, wife of Will Lesch; his 2 grandchildren: Samuel Lesch & Julianne Lesch, all of Milford MA; his 2 sisters: Anne, wife of John Hogarth of Hopedale MA and Barbara Sullivan of Medfield MA; his nieces & nephews: Patricia Parent and her husband Bill of Milford MA, Michael Hogarth of Florida, Patrick Sullivan of Medfield MA and Caitlin Sullivan of London, England; his cousins: Joan Talbot of Worcester MA & David Hayes of South Dennis MA; his former wife: Marge Jensen of Braintree VT; also many other extended family members and friends.
In accordance with his wishes cremation will take place. Due to the COVID-19 gathering restrictions and the family’s concern for the wellbeing of family members & friends a Private Graveside Committal Service will be held at Hopedale Village Cemetery at the convenience of the family. There are no visiting hours. Social distancing protocols & use of face masks will be required for all facets of the funeral services.
In lieu of flowers, Jack's family requests that you make a donation in Jack's memory to your local food bank.
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