The Reverend Dwight S. Haynes, 81, of Concord, passed away Saturday, March 24, 2018, surrounded by his family. Born in Haverhill, Mass. in 1937, as a four year old, he was diagnosed as deaf and dumb. Sent home by the experts in Boston, Dwight was operated on in the family's living room by a doctor who lived next door. His hearing was significantly restored, and speech therapy helped him to speak.
A shy and reserved child, (surprising to those who knew him as an adult!) Dwight set a goal giving himself the satisfaction of achievement and helping others at the same time, a quality he displayed throughout his life. As a second grader in 1944, he collected 2,650 tin cans for the war effort. This won him top honors in his city's "Tin-Toter Campaign." Told by his high school principal that he would never make it to college, Dwight earned a Bachelor's degree in philosophy from Bates College in 1959, and graduated from Boston University School of Theology in 1962 with dual Master's degrees in Divinity and Psychology & Pastoral Counseling. A lifelong champion of civil rights, one of his proudest moments was marching on Montgomery with Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, he had just given a talk on the subject to middle school students in February of this year. Before retiring in 2002, Dwight served 40+ years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church (UMC). In notes made in his late 70s, he tallied having conducted 276 weddings, 280 baptisms, 414 members received, 590 funeral/memorial services, "and thousands of meetings."
In retirement he served four interim pastorates, preached in 46 churches, including two services at Bow Mills UMC on the Sunday before he died, and continued to participate in many volunteer activities. Whether serving as a mentor for local pastors and candidates for ministry, attending political rallies or social justice events, or writing letters to the editor, Dwight never stopped finding ways to contribute in any way he could. This included serving as a Granite State Ambassador at the kiosk in front of the State house for eight summers, as well as president of the Havenwood Resident Association. An avid bicyclist, Dwight completed 36,000 miles by his 81st birthday. Another goal he set and exceeded was donating 112 pints of blood. Dwight traveled as often as he could starting with a summer in Europe in his '20s, and taking trips to Israel and Egypt, Greece and Turkey, culminating in lifetime tallies of five continents, 29 nations, 44 states, and 17 National Parks. When speaking of his travels, Dwight frequently shared that while "people may look different and talk different, we all have the same hurts and hopes." He also liked to point out that St. Augustine said, "The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only a page."
Dwight leaves his wife of 56 years, Maryellen; his daughters, Linda and Judith; his grandchildren, Jessica and Joshua; and one great-grandchild, Asher.
A celebration of his life will be held Thursday, April 12, at 2 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 79 Clinton Street, Concord.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) or Wanakee Camperships and mailed to Bow United Methodist Church, 505 South Street, Bow, NH 03304. Memorial gifts may also be made directly to the Audubon Society or the ACLU.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Bennett Funeral Home of Concord. Online condolences can be expressed at bennettfuneral.com.