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  • Writer's pictureWilliamsburg Funeral Home

Patrick Hayes 1944-2021

In the early morning hours of December 29, 2021, after a heroic struggle of more than two years with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Patrick Joseph Hayes, 77, of Florence, Massachusetts, died peacefully, with his loving partner and family at his side. Patrick was born on March 23, 1944, to Bartholomew and Maureen (Peachey) Hayes in Derry, Northern Ireland, where he spent his early childhood years. In 1953, Patrick emigrated to North America with his mother and older sister Della, joining his father, who was already living in the Boston area. Over subsequent years, the family continued to grow in eastern Massachusetts with the birth of a second sister, Kathleen, and two brothers, Paul and Kevin.

At the tender age of 17, Patrick enlisted in the United States Navy and served for the next three years as a Corpsman at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. Not long after he completed his tour of duty, fate and his lucky Irish stars interceded when Patrick met the lovely young Eileen Murphy, who became his beloved wife in August of 1968. Shortly after his marriage to Eileen, the couple relocated to western Massachusetts where Pat began studies at UMASS Amherst, graduating in 1971 with a B.A. in English. While starting a family, and with Eileen as his greatest champion, Pat continued his education in the early 1970’s, enrolling in the MSW program at the Smith College School for Social Work, from which he earned his LICSW in 1976. So began his journey toward becoming a highly respected clinical therapist, a true calling which ended only when the rigors of his illness made it too difficult for him to continue.

However, his educational journey did not end with a master’s degree. In the mid-nineteen nineties, both dismayed by and drawn to the suffering resulting from the carnage of his native Derry’s January 1972 Bloody Sunday, he decided to investigate how that trauma impacted not only the immediate families of the victims but their first-generation descendants as well. These questions led Patrick to begin a PhD study at Queen’s University, Belfast, under the supervision of Professor Jim Campbell, who became not only Pat’s academic mentor, but along with Jim’s wife Anona, a dear friend as well. Pat was awarded his doctorate in July of 2000. His dissertation focused on the results of his Bloody Sunday research, and, in 2005, provided the framework for the publication, co-authored by Jim Campbell, of the book Bloody Sunday: Trauma, Pain and Politics. Patrick was a man of many interests and talents; he was an accomplished photographer and drummer on the Irish bodhran; he was an avid reader, who always had a book in progress. He had a love of poetry, in particular the work of Seamus Heaney and William Butler Yeats. And Patrick adored travel; he made many trips, both far and wide, within and outside of the US in both the northern and southern hemispheres, but his favorite destination was ever his native Ireland, to which he returned time and time again. And while Patrick will surely be remembered for his wicked sense of humor and razor-sharp wit, above all, his wisdom, kindness, empathy, and his enduring devotion to family, friends, and all creatures great and small will always define his essence for those of us who knew and loved him.

Patrick was predeceased by his father, Bartholomew Hayes, in 1988 and mother, Maureen (Peachey) Hayes in 1993; his dear wife of 42 years, Dr. Eileen F. (Murphy) Hayes in January 2010; his sister Kathleen (Hayes) Marchitelli in November 2019, and his brother Paul Hayes in August 2021.

Patrick is survived by his daughter, Suzanne Daviau, her husband Michael, and their children Alyssa, Emily, Riley and Liam of Florence, MA, his son, Sean Hayes and his wife Lekisha, and their son, Jackson of Sudbury, MA. Surviving him also are his sister Della McGrath and her husband Martin Freiermuth of Newmarket, NH, his brother Kevin Hayes and his wife Karen of Loudon, NH, his brother-in-law Stephen Marchitelli of Amesbury, MA, and a large, cherished community of extended family and treasured friends.

Surviving Patrick as well is his loving partner, Jill Méndez of Florence, MA; Jill is grateful to have been blessed with many joyful years of sharing love and life and laughter with her sweet Patrick, who will forever remain close in her heart. Patrick’s children, their families, and Jill wish to thank the wonderful Hospice team that took such good care of Pat in his final days as well as the paramedics, police officers and detective who responded to the emergency call on the 29th.

Per Patrick’s specific request, in lieu of a memorial service at this time, a happy celebration of his life will be held later in the spring.

Should you wish to donate in Patrick’s memory, may we suggest the Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, the IPF Foundation, the UMASS Dr. Eileen Hayes Memorial Scholarship fund, the Dakin Animal Shelter, or a charity of your choice.

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