Dr. Sumner C. Hayward

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Dr. Sumner C. Hayward, 96, scholar, author, teacher, composer

CONCORD - Sumner Chamberlain Hayward, 96, died on May 7, 2013 at Havenwood-Heritage Heights in Concord.

He was the father of Richard Hayward, who lives in Dover, and four other children, and was living at Heritage Heights Retirement Center in Concord at the time of his death.

Sumner was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1916, in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Martha Bliss Hayward and Raymond M, Hayward. It's not surprising, therefore, that he thought for years that the flags went up solely for his birthday.

Sumner's musical interests appeared early: age 10, a gold medal for piano performance; at age 14, an original piano composition that won a contest and was performed publicly, and later, in high school, voted best ballroom dancer.

He graduated from both Dundee School (1929) and Central High School (1934) in Omaha, enrolled in Ohio's Oberlin College and its Conservatory of Music, when he earned his BA degree in 1939. He lived in New York City or two years, composing music, and then spent four years in the U.S. Army during World War II. Three of these years were in Panama.

At the war's end, he moved with his wife, Lucy (whom he had met during his undergraduate days at Oberlin in the 1930s) back to Oberlin briefly, then on to Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he earned his Ph.D degree in psychology.

Sumner then spent the next 30 years teaching psychology and doing educational research and administration at the college level. During this time, in addition to full-time teaching, he also published a number of articles in education and scientific journals, and was awarded three National Science Foundation grants. Several of his articles on educational innovation were reprinted in the New York Herald- Tribune.

For all of his professional life, Sumner has been a college faculty member of administrative officer: first in the teaching faculty of Carleton College in Minnesota; then later as chairman of the department of psychology at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

He ended his collegiate career as a professor at Empire State College of the State University of New York in New York City. In this position, he was in charge of introducing in New York City a newly-conceived program in both the visual and performing arts.

He felt his try at college administration was less interesting and less satisfying than his work in the arts, teaching and research.

Sumner has always said, "I must enjoy being a builder rather than a sustainer. I like best being involved in trying to create a monument, rather than cutting the grass around a monument already built. I feel more comfortable in the role of an 'idea person.'

In a very real sense, most of Sumner's professional life has centered around three activities: teaching, educational research and innovation, and the arts.

During his New York City years, Sumner composed more songs, but during his Army years, he decided against becoming a professional musician and went on with graduate work.

Sumner is the author of two novels, based in life in the theatre. He dabbled in cartooning and built four chest on chests dressers - one for each of his children.

He was a charming person and is known for his keen sense of humor and appreciation of a good story.

After his retirement, which begin in 1978, Sumner continued his keen interest in music composition, primarily the cabaret song for both voice and piano. Six of these songs have been recorded on CD, along with his comments about his own history and philosophy.

He continued to teach, holding informal gatherings for those living at Heritage Heights, the retirement center where he lived until his death. Lucy Hayward, his wife of 65 years, died in 2009.

Sumner has always said that his greatest creations "are the part I played in bringing four splendid children into the world (another died in infancy) and six wondrous grandchildren into the world. Neither Beethoven nor Einstein could claim any better!"

Sumner and Lucy's children are Richard of Dover, Scott and Charles, both of New York City; and Harriet of Novato, Calif. The three boys are now involved professionally in the East Coast, while Harriet, their youngest, teaches music in Marin County, north of San Francisco. Another son, Webster Charles Hayward, Richard's twin brother, died several days after birth.

They also have seven grandchildren, Gregg Hayward of Portland, Ore., Catherine D. Hayward of Portsmouth, Anne Hillinger and her husband, Seth, and Elizabeth Hayward and her husband Aidan Lucey, all of Brooklyn, N.Y., Wesley and Reno Hayward of New York City and Julia Feldman of Novato, California.

There are two great grandchildren, Calvin Hillinger and Eleanor Hayward Lucey, both of Brooklyn, N.Y.

The memorial service and celebration of Sumner C. Hayward's life will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Concord, N.H.

His ashes will be buried alongside his wife in the family lot in Westwood Cemetery in Oberlin.

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Published in Fosters from May 10 to May 13, 2013
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