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Daniel Mauger Hays

1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Daniel Mauger Hays Obituary
March 9, 1919 - April 7, 2016 Daniel M. Hays, a pediatric surgeon and pioneer in academic pediatric surgery, died April 7 at his home in Riverside, California at the age of 97. He is survived by Esther, his wife of 64 years, their four children, Sarah, Jon, Elizabeth, and Margaret, and seven grandchildren. Dan was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Riverside, California, where his father and later his brother were owners and publishers of the Riverside Press Enterprise. Dan's father was also the owner and manager of the Glacier Park Transportation Company, and, from ages 8 to 21, Dan spent his summers living in East Glacier Park, Montana. Dan received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1941, attended Cornell University Medical College, and served his internship at Boston Children's Hospital. He was a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1941 to 1947, serving during his medical training and later in post-war Germany. He completed surgical training at New York Hospital from 1948 to 1954. He met his wife, Esther Fincher Hays, when they were both residents at New York Hospital, and they were married in 1951. In 1954 they moved to Los Angeles, and he joined the staff of Good Samaritan Hospital and then Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Dan practiced at Children's Hospital from 1955 until his retirement in 2001. His greatest impact was in the field of childhood cancer management, combining surgery with chemotherapy and radiation. He also played a key role in promoting cooperation between cancer specialists in what is now called the Children's Oncology Group; this group coordinates the work of more than 9,000 experts in childhood cancer at more than 200 leading children's hospitals and cancer centers around the world. His work not only led to improved survival of children with cancer, but he also contributed to the knowledge of the impact of childhood cancer upon survivors through his long-term follow up clinic and studies on adult survivors. In 2004, Dan received the William E. Ladd Medal awarded by the American Academy of Pediatrics to a pediatric surgeon who has made a significant contribution to the field of Surgery. He was an Academic Professor of Surgery at USC's Keck Medical School and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at UCLA School of Medicine. In retirement, Dan and Esther returned to live in Riverside where he founded and chaired the Victoria Avenue Restoration Project; this led to the inclusion of Victoria Avenue in Riverside on the National Register of Historic Places and the undergrounding of utility wires along the Avenue. The benefit of his efforts can be seen by all who visit Victoria Avenue today. Dan and Esther also built a home in East Glacier Park, Montana, where they loved to spend summers with family and friends and share the wonders of the National Park that was so close to Dan's heart. A common thread in Dan's thoughts was history. He loved to follow, dissect and understand how histories formed and developed. This was all done with his characteristic openness and critical analysis. Family, past and future, was very important to him, and he valued the connections of work and community. He contributed throughout his life with discipline, thought, deed, and often with a searching wry humor. His family, friends, and colleagues feel his loss and miss his 'presence' but marvel at his long life well lived. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Dan's name to The Children's Oncology Group Foundation, 3720 Spruce St., No. 506, Philadelphia, PA 19104, cog-foundation.org.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 10 to June 12, 2016
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