Janice N. (Hancock) Hayden, 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 9, at her daughter, Cynthia Schena’s home.
She was born to George and Emma (Johnson) Hancock in Uncasville, Connecticut on February 12, 1923, the second youngest of eight children. Janice grew up in Connecticut and New York before moving to Massachusetts as a teenager. It was there she met her future husband of 71 years, George Hayden, at Haverhill High School, Class of 1941. After graduation, Janice attended business school and worked as a secretary for the War Department in Washington, D.C. She and George married on May 1, 1943. George enlisted in the army and was stationed for two years in the Philippines, during World War II. After his safe return, the couple settled in Haverhill, and proceeded to raise their five daughters. Janice loved having a big family, and her greatest gift was making her daughters feel valued and special every day. She was a “hands on” mom, who did everything she could to make life and learning fun. She enjoyed reading to her children constantly, and doling out good common sense advice at their daily tea parties, along with the cocoa and cookies. Many of her words of wisdom were gleaned from her horoscope, “Dear Abby” or her Salada tea bag witticisms, but every word rang true and added some perspective to life’s little predicaments. Janice’s children and grandchildren have wonderful memories of summers spent at Newfound Lake in Bristol, N.H., fishing, hiking, swimming, and boating. The adults recall lively, political discussions during cocktail hour, with Janice, the only teetotaler, acting as moderator. Delicious food and lots of laughter would follow, with the whole family gathered around the world’s longest picnic table, on the porch, overlooking the lake.
Upon retirement, Janice and George began spending the majority of their time at their condo in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There they enjoyed an active social life and many happy years with a wide group of friends, who shared their love of golf, travel, cards, and dinner dances. Janice also liked collecting antiques, interior decorating, listening to all types of music, and watching classic film noir movies on television. In spite of their failing health, Janice and George still acted like honeymooners. Their eyes still sparkled every time they looked at each other, kissed, or held hands. Even in her final days, Janice would ask for a hug from George to make her feel better. She often remarked that she felt so lucky to have her one true love, love her, too.
Janice is survived by her beloved husband, George Hayden. She also leaves behind her five daughters and sons-in-law: Candis and Robert Buoniconti of Delray Beach, Florida; Cynthia and Vincent Schena of Bradford, Mass; Bette and Rich Gorglione of Asheville, NC; Barbara Hayden and Reid Robertson of Jupiter, Florida; and Lynne and Michael Furey of Pasadena, MD. She is also survived by one sister, Mabel Piscatella of Uncasville, Conn; her sister-in-law, Ethel Kinsman of Haverhill, Mass; her brother-in-law, Charles Hayden of Seabrook, NH; ten grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
The entire family would like to thank Cynthia and Vincent Schena, and their son Vincent Joseph for welcoming Janice and George into their home four years ago, and giving them tender loving care and devotion. We would also like to thank, Joy Svenson, for all her assistance, support, and friendship. Special thanks also go out to the staff of LifeChoice Hospice for helping and guiding us through this difficult time. As per Janice’s request, there will be no visiting hours. A private family memorial will be held at Newfound Lake at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LifeChoice Hospice 790 Turnpike Street Suite 302 North Andover, MA 01845.