John J. Hayes

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  • "Dear Patty & Family, Your father lived a remarkable life..."
    - Jean Burdick
  • "Dear Patty and Family, So sorry for your loss. Know you..."
    - Jason McCormack
  • "Dear Mary, I'm so sorry for your loss. Please forgive my..."
    - Lura Correia
  • "Dear Patty & family- Thinking of you and at this time of..."
    - Meg McGee
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Hayes, John J. ALBANY A gentle man went peacefully to meet his God on October 15, 2009 after a long illness. John Hayes was born and educated in New York City. He attended St. Mary's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia and then received bachelor and master degrees in political science from Fordham University. In addition, he also earned a master's degree from the University of South Africa. Later, he pursued post graduate studies in mathematics under grants from the National Science Foundation at Fordham University, Hunter College, City College of New York, Yeshiva University and Belfor College. He attended Siena College and State University at Albany for graduate administrative courses. John spent over 40 successful and fruitful years in education. He taught in Westchester and New York City before volunteering to work in Galeshewe Village, Kimberley, South Africa. Despite a hostile government apartheid environment, he was co-founder and principal of St. Boniface High School, the first high school for African native students. His goal was to give his students the same quality education as the Europeans were receiving. While in Africa, John was a member of the Native Schools Principal Council of South Africa and an advisor to the Federation of Native Teachers of Kimberley and Bloemfontein areas. He worked among the native people for eight years. In 1959, John was exiled from South Africa by the government because of his tireless anti-apartheid activities. In April of 1997, after Nelson Mandela became the president, John was able to return once again to South Africa to visit St. Boniface High School. At present, the school is not only the largest native high school in the Northern Cape area, but it is also one of the top hundred schools in all of South Africa and one of the top three schools in the Northern Province. During his visit, he was warmly greeted and honored by scores of his past students. Today, his students hold key political, educational, medical and business positions all over South Africa. Upon John's return to America, he taught in Harlem, NYC, New Rochelle, N.Y. and Roxbury, Mass. before coming to Albany. Here he taught math in Hackett Middle School and Albany High School. John was appointed supervisor of mathematics in the Albany Public School System in 1970 and later also became the science supervisor. Both of these posts he held until his retirement in 1986. John was well known for his keen sense of humor and his endless Irish wit. No person was ever a stranger to John for very long as he had the uncanny gift of listening and accepting each person as a friend. He was gentle and kind to everyone he ever met and people responded in kind to him. He loved to read, especially Westerns, and to solve crossword puzzles. John was a longtime parishioner of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception where he was a lector, Eucharistic minister and a member of the finance committee and parish council. Later he was a member of the Church of St. Margaret Mary where he served as a lector. While on the Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission, John worked toward the goals he espoused during all of his life: justice for all, especially the farm workers, those people slaving in sweat shops and the destruction of land mines. His entire life was dedicated to the less fortunate throughout the world. John also was an active member of Call To Action of Upstate N.Y. Beloved husband of Mary Krzanik Hayes for 40 years; father of Patricia Hayes of Toronto, Canada, Joseph Hayes (deceased) and adopted daughter, Deirdre McKibbon; son of the late John and Anastasia Hayes of Ireland and New York City; brother of Ann Hayes, Denville, N.J. and Clare Reilly, Murrells Inlet, S.C., the late James Hayes and Mary O'Connor; brother-in-law of the late Frances Rudnicki and her husband Stanley Rudnicki, Albany, N.Y. and Dolores and Milton Sureck, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Also survived by numerous and loved nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. The family wishes to especially thank Dr. Adele Strominger, Fran, her nurse, Dr. Abul Azad, the doctors at Albany Associates in Cardiology and the nurses and aides at St. Peter's Hospital for their compassion and their caring. Funeral services will be held in the Lasak and Gigliotti Funeral Home, 8 Dudley Heights (Northern Blvd.), Albany, Monday morning at 9:00 and 10 o'clock at All Saints Catholic Church (the former Church of St. Margaret Mary), Western Ave. at Homestead St. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend and may also call at the funeral home Sunday 3 to 6 p.m. Interment will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie. In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory may be made to the Christian Brothers, St. Boniface Mission School, Kimberley, South Africa, P.O. Box 38100, Albany, NY 12203 or to the Cathedral Social Services, 125 Eagle St., Albany, NY 12202.
Published in Albany Times Union from Oct. 17 to Oct. 18, 2009