Judith A. (Harvey) Hayes, 62, passed away peacefully at home Nov. 23, surrounded by her family, after a year-and-a-half battle with brain cancer.
She was the wife of John A. Hayes Jr. of 38 years, with whom they had four children. She was born at Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, Sept. 6, 1954, to John and Margaret (Lacouter) Harvey. She attended St. Rita’s and St. Monica’s elementary schools, and St. Mary’s High School, Lawrence. She valued education and leadership, serving in student council leadership and becoming instrumental in the annual conference for the Massachusetts Association of Student Councils. She continued her education at Boston College, where she earned a bachelor’s in Speech Science and Elementary Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1976. She was active in the student community and served as a residence assistant during her time on campus and, as an alumnus, she maintained a lifetime of commitment to the college, both in service and as a loyal fan of the BC Eagles.
She began her career working in the Methuen Public Schools as a second-grade teacher while earning her master’s in Speech/Language Pathology from Northeastern University. Hayes completed her master’s in 1981, and would help students master their speech, language and communication over the next 34 years, first in Methuen Public Schools, and later in Andover Public Schools – from where she would retire in 2014. She was a pioneer in promoting job-sharing within the area schools, a way to allow mothers to be home with their children. She was active in teachers’ union causes, making sure teachers were given a fair bargain for their work. She loved spending time with her family, whether at Seabrook Beach, N.H., Bradford Swim Club, or organizing gatherings of friends like family. She served on the Sacred Hearts School Board for 10 years, as well as on the board of directors for the Bradford Swim Club (BSC) and was a long-time supporter of the BSC Swimming and Diving Teams. She was a longtime parishioner of Sacred Hearts Parish in Bradford.
During Hayes’ fight, she continued to help others. With the assistance of her husband and colleagues at West Elementary School, she collected and donated children’s books for patients and families to enjoy on the MGH neuroscience floors. In honor of her strength as #JudiStrong, she inspired a successful Boston Marathon fundraising drive for Home Away Boston to keep families together while fighting childhood cancers.
She leaves behind her husband of 38 years, John A. Hayes Jr. of Bradford; four children, Meaghan of Rockland and fiance Paul Leoncavallo, Bridget and husband Michael Clifford of Haverhill, Patrick and longtime girlfriend Jennifer Roche of Bradford, and Colleen of Dorchester; sister Gail Brain and husband Richard of Rye, N.H.; twin sister Margaret (Peggy) Harvey of Seabrook Beach, N.H.; cousin Patricia Jennings of Haverhill; and nieces and nephews.
Visitation was Sunday, 27, at Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main St., Bradford. A private Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was to be celebrated today in Sacred Hearts Church, followed by a private burial service in Linwood Cemetery. A memorial Mass in her memory takes place Saturday, Dec. 3, in Sacred Hearts Church, Bradford, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to a trust that has been established at the Methuen Federal Credit Union, 248 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844, to benefit the research of her care team at Massachusetts General Hospital.