Florence Hayes

Obituary of Florence Lucille Hayes

F. Lucille Hayes - On Wednesday, August 5, 2020; Florence Lucille Hayes transitioned peacefully in her sleep at the age of 98. She was born January 2, 1922 in Pleasantville, New Jersey, the second child of Joseph and Ida Moody. Her two siblings, Ida Elisa Casper and Joseph Moody, Jr. preceded her in death. Lucille received her B.S. in Home Economics from West Virginia State College, and her M.S. in Home economics education from Simmons College in Boston. It was at West Virginia State that she met and later married Herbert Hayes, who preceded her in death in 2000. They had two children, Herbie who passed away in 2008; and Cheryl, Lieutenant Colonel U.S. Army, Retired. Lucille had a long and distinguished teaching career in the public and private sectors. She was the first Black person to be permanently appointed as a Home Economics teacher in the Boston Public School System. She taught and supervised Home Economics instruction in sewing and cooking in elementary, middle, and high schools, and also adult education. She attained the position of Director of Career Education in the Boston Public School System. In addition to her public school achievements, Lucille also taught sewing classes at the Harriet Tubman Community House in Boston; she taught sewing classis for army wives in Hanau, Germany; and she taught tailoring and sewing classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education. As a committed community supporter, Lucille held member and leadership positions in the Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (Life Member); the Boston Chapter of Links, Inc. (Alumni Member); the Middlesex Chapter of the NAACP; as well as the National Council of Negro Women, Greater Boston Section (Life Member). The family lived in Germany prior to Herbert being Honorably Discharged from the United States Army, and it was there that her love of traveling developed. Upon returning to Boston, she continued her teaching career, and the family joined the Charles Street AME Church under the leadership of Reverend Walter C. Davis. Lucille was a member of the Senior Choir, was costume designer for the annual plays and pageants held at the church. She played piano for the junior choir, and assisted in multiple travel events and projects for the church youth. After moving to Burlington, Massachusetts in 1963, she joined St. John’s Baptist Church in Woburn under the leadership of the late Reverend Larry Edmunds. Lucille loved singing in the Chapel Choir. She also served on the Christian Education Committee, whereby scholarships would be awarded to deserving youth. She was a dedicated and loving servant, and assisted on multiple committees, helping to promote and spread God’s love. In her later years when her mobility started to fail, she financially supported the addition of an elevator at St. John’s Church. She truly loved her church family, and was especially grateful when she was recognized as an Honorary Deaconess. A grateful thank-you is extended to the Deacons and deaconesses for bringing communion to Lucille at the Atria Longmeadow Place on most First Sundays. Traveling was Lucille’s passion. Every summer and often on holidays, she traveled. She had visited most of the 50 states, and dozens of countries throughout North America, Central, and South America, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Far East. She loved taking cruises, and what wonderful memories she had taking family trips. Her last cruise was a 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise when she was 90. Lucille moved to the Atria Longmeadow Place in Burlington in January of 2018 after the death of her sister, who lived with her until her transition. She enjoyed living at the Atria, and the security and freedom it allowed her. Her favorite activity was playing BINGO, and dining with newly made friends. She also enjoyed riding her scooter inside and outside the beautiful facility. Her first surprise birthday was on January 2, 2020. Several of her social group friends, members or St. John’s Church, and family friends gathered to celebrate her special day. Lucille’s infectious smile and pleasing personality will certainly be remembered by all who knew and loved her. A visitation for Lucille will be held at the Graham Funeral Home, 3 Arlington Rd., Woburn on Monday morning, August 17 from 10:00-11:00 am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am. Interment will be at the Gethsemane Cemetery in West Roxbury.
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