Alfred John Hajj, age 89, husband of Louise (Halal) Hajj of Danbury, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Danbury Hospital surrounded by his close loving family. Mr. Hajj was born August 24, 1923 in Worcester, MA to the late Abraham and Susan (Farrah) Hajj. He was born a fraternal triplet, an atypical birth for 1923 that gave cause for an iconic front-page newspaper photo of the three boys. The passing of Mr. Hajj marks the end of the Hajj family generation born to Abraham and Susan, a prominent Danbury family since 1927 coming from Worcester. The family owned several local businesses. Alfred was the youngest of eight children and the last surviving. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his three sisters, Madeline Tomey, Eva Haddad and Lillian Ramey and by his four brothers, Edward Hajj, William M. Hajj, George Hajj and Charles Hajj; all lifelong Danbury residents. He is survived by his beloved wife, Louise (Halal) Hajj, daughter, Mary of Danbury, son Charles and his partner Paul Giacomo of Manhattan NY, daughter, Christine and son in law, Eric Goodsell of Brookfield; three grandchildren, Katie, Grace and Charlotte Goodsell and several nieces and nephews.
Mr. Hajj was an honor student who graduated at the top of his class from Danbury State Teacher's College (now Western CT State University) and Fairfield University where he earned his master's and sixth year degree in education. He was an avid historian, scholar and expert in Middle Eastern studies. Early in his career he owned and operated a grocery store but left that business to focus on his passion, which was his dedication to history and education. Mr. Hajj is best known as a history teacher and assistant principal in the Danbury school system. In his 40-year career he impacted the lives of over 5,000 students that he taught in his classroom. His years of teaching at Danbury's former Main Street School and Broadview Junior High School became his career highpoint. He found enormous joy helping students during an age that is sometimes confusing and difficult for both parents and teachers. In this role he became one of the best-known and most beloved teachers in the city, revered by his unwavering dedication to improving his student's lives. In addition Mr. Hajj also held professorial positions at Western Connecticut State University. After he retired, he was a mentor for the teacher internship program at the University of Bridgeport. He was an active member of St Ann's Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and was awarded the "Cross of Jerusalem" a mark of honor for his dedication and lifelong service to his church. He was a member of the men's society and served for many years and held various positions on the parish council. He was a loving, kind and gentle man that always put his family, friends and students before himself. Alfred had a keen sense of humor. He referred to his grandchildren as the joy of his life. He will be missed greatly by all.
The Rite of Burial will take place on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10 AM in St. Ann Melkite Greek Catholic Church with Archimandrite Michael Skrocki, officiating.
Burial will follow in St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury.
The family will receive friends at St. Ann Church, 183 Clapboard Ridge Road, Route 39 N, Danbury on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 from 5 PM to 8 PM.
The Trisagion service will take place on Wednesday at 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Ann's Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.