Richard J. Hafey, 90
PAXTON - Richard J. Hafey, a newspaperman for 65 years, died Monday, September 2, 2019. He was 90 years old. His wife of 55 years, Mary E. (Manning) Hafey passed in 2008.
He leaves four children, Catherine M. Hafey of Ashfield, CDR John R. Hafey (USN, Ret.) and his wife Gail (Criswell), of Lorton, VA, Margaret E. Hafey of Southport, NC, and, his caretaker, William J. "Bill" Hafey of Paxton; two grandchildren, Jenna K. Hafey of Fairfax, VA, John Thomas Hafey and his wife Lindsay (Smith) of Reston, VA; a great-granddaughter Layla Grace Hafey of Fairfax, VA; and several nephews and nieces.
He was born in Northampton, son of the late John P. and Vera (Hayes) Hafey. His father died in 1937, leaving a single mother with two young children. He lived in Westfield, Whately, Worcester, West Boylston and Boylston, prior to moving to Paxton in 1984. His mother and brother, William A. Hafey, predeceased him.
After high school, Mr. Hafey served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman with the Army of Occupation in Inchon, Korea. He was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he was a reporter and then editor of the campus newspaper, The Collegian. He was a member of Adelphia, the men's honor society and Theta Chi social fraternity.
Mr. Hafey began his newspaper career as court, police and fire reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton. He joined the staff of The Evening Gazette in Worcester, where his first major assignment was coverage of the 1953 tornado. He covered every news beat as a young reporter. In addition to the tornado, his memorable reportorial assignments included interviews with Eleanor Roosevelt, then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Senator Edward Brooke. He also covered Dr. Martin Luther King, when he spoke in Worcester and the Johnson/Humphrey presidential campaign in 1964. He was promoted sequentially to assistant city editor, city editor, and news editor at The Evening Gazette. He worked as an editor for over 25 years before early retirement when The Evening Gazette ceased publication at the direction of new owners.
Mr. Hafey devoted numerous after-work hours' conducting reviews of theatrical productions, movies, books, and restaurants, all for publication in The Evening Gazette. The proceeds from this work helped fund family vacations to Cape Cod and also provided a welcome night out for his wife Mary.
He was elected a School Committeeman in the Tahanto Regional School District and was a member of the Boylston Lions Club in the 1960's. He served as a collector for the Bishop's Fund in both Boylston and Paxton.
After retirement, Mr. Hafey served as the Paxton correspondent to the Telegram and Gazette until 2016. He filed over 1000 reports during this period. He was a member of the Paxton Historical Commission and a driver for Meals on Wheels. He was an avid reader his entire life, taking courses at Worcester State University and on-line through Coursera in his 70's and 80's. He and his wife Mary were passionate about gardening, filling the yard and deck annually with beautiful displays.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Columba's Church, 18 Richards Avenue, Paxton, Saturday, September 14, at 11:00 a.m. There are no calling hours; burial will be private. The family requests that flowers be omitted, and donations made in his name to the Telegram & Gazette Santa Fund c/o Commerce Bank, P.O. Box 15020 Worcester, MA 01615-0020.
Callahan, Fay, & Caswell of 61 Myrtle Street, Worcester is directing arrangements.
For on-line condolences, please visit:www.callahanfay.com