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Charles J. Hayes, 89

December 15, 2013

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Charles J. Hayes, 89, of Florence died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. He was the stepfather of State Police Lt. William C. Blackmer Jr. of North Adams.

Born in Boston on July 3, 1924, the son of Patrick and Gertrude Tate Hayes, he moved to Northampton at an early age and attended St. Michael's High School.

A Navy veteran of World War II, he served as a radioman with the Armed Guard in the North Atlantic convoys, the "Murmansk Run," on the S.S. Alamar and S.S. Massmar that were sunk, and then on the destroyer U.S.S. Champlin. He was stationed at the U.S. Naval Operating Base at Londonberry, Northern Ireland, which became a center of military activity at the beginning of World War II. He was given special assignment to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force headquarters in London on D-Day.

Mr. Hayes was employed at the U.S. Veterans Affairs hospital in Leeds, retiring in 1984 after 40 years of service.

He was a member of Michael F. Curtin VFW Post 8006 in Florence and the U.S.N. Armed Guard World War II Veterans Association. He was devoted to his family and loyal to his friends. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and hiking. He will be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and wonderful sense of humor.

His wife of 44 years, the former Gwendolyn Yon, died Oct. 3.

Besides his stepson and his wife, North Adams City Councilor Lisa Hall Blackmer, he leaves his daughter, Kathleen Hayes Mattia of Framingham; his son, Edward Hayes and his life partner, Sharon Sager, of Holliston; his stepdaughter, Diane Blackmer Levine and her husband, Bill, of Greenfield; his brother, the Rev. Edward Hayes of Maryknoll, N.Y., and Tanzania; his sister, Elizabeth Hayes of Waltham; six grandchildren, Christopher Mattia and his wife, Erica, of Lynnfield, Daniel Mattia and his wife, Beth, of Northborough, Alicia Hayes Morrison and her husband, Seth, of Marlborough, Caroline Hayes and her fiancé, Harvey Harper, of Cardiff by the Sea, Calif., William Blackmer and his wife, Mary, of Weymouth, and Jennifer Blackmer of Westfield; eight great-grandchildren, and his nephew and niece, Patrick Hayes and his wife, Melissa, of Florence and Patricia Hayes-Forsythe of Deerfield.

He was preceded in death by his stepdaughter Vicki Lynn Blackmer and brothers Patrick and Lawrence Hayes.

FUNERAL NOTICE — Calling hours for Mr. Hayes will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, from 11 to 2 at Ahearn Funeral Home, 783 Bridge Road, Northampton. Burial services will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to: Hope for the Warriors, 5101C Backlick Road, Annandale, VA 22003, or a local veterans group of the donor's choosing.


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