Georgene (McCarthy) Hayes died peacefully surrounded by family on September 12th at Rivermead in Peterborough, NH. Gene was born August 10, 1921 in Guttenberg, NJ to Georgianna Barrett McCarthy and Edmund McCarthy who were first generation Irish immigrants. Her mother was an NYU graduate, teacher and helped lead the suffragette movement in NYC. Her father was a stone sculptor trained in Italy who worked in NYC on projects like The Met Cloisters. The strength, love and integrity instilled in Gene by her parents nourished and guided all of us fortunate enough to be her family.
Love and tolerance were her way. If she had a say in the matter, not a single person in her presence would want for comfort or care. She had a way of making people feel special, valued and honored. As an art teacher, her classroom was a place where each child was special, “mistakes” became discoveries and something wonderful always happened. She taught in the Hamden/Spring Glenn schools from 1966-1987 and had a reputation for making sure that everyone she taught earned an A.
She married the love of her life and husband of over 50 years John Joseph Hayes in 1942 after graduating from NYU. They had two sons, John Edmund Hayes of Hancock, NH and Raymond Paul Hayes of Deep River, Ct. Surrounded by art, music, family and wonderful neighbors who became family, Gene and John lived out their years in a beautiful white house on the edge of the sea on Baldwin Street in West Haven Connecticut.
She is predeceased by her husband, her parents, her beloved brothers James (Jay) McCarthy and Edmund (Mac) McCarthy and her sister in-law Frances McCarthy (wife of Edmund). She is survived by her two sons, their wives Deborah Porter Hayes and Barbara Myles Hayes, her four grandchildren for which she was the epi-center of their childhoods, eight great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren and countless others she loved dearly along the way.
A graveside service will be held Thursday September 19th at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Cemetery,Campbell Avenue, West Haven Connecticut. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Pay4ward at www.pay4ward.org.
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