Dennis J. Hayes, a District 8 Supervisor and PWAC member, left this earth peacefully and journeyed to heaven on April 20, 2023 after a brain bleed stroke on Easter Sunday morning. He was a man of great faith and generously shared his faith by doing good deeds throughout his life.
A wake will be held at Hiers-Baxley in Buffalo Ridge from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, May 3 and a Funeral Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church at 1:30 on Thursday, May 4.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Dennis was born in the Bronx, N.Y. to Amy and John Hayes on April 25, 1941. Dennis is survived by: his wife of 57 years, Pat, 4 sons: Kenneth (wife, Sharon), Christian (wife, Lisa), Mark (wife, Andrea) and Bryan (wife, Kayla); 3 grandchildren: Zachary (wife, Brooke), Colby and Emily; a brother, Jack (wife, Toni) and a sister, Patricia (husband, Mike) and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He went to Our Lady of Assumption Grammar School, Archbishop Malloy High School and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College.
Dennis had a distinguished career as a Professional Engineer and Vice President at Malcolm Pirnie, an Environmental Engineering Firm. Dennis’s career spanned decades working with municipalities in many states and abroad.
His accomplishments included the design of several water and waste water treatment plants, water pollution control facility planning, rehabilitation of infrastructure systems, establishing capital improvement programs and negotiating contracts to keep a clean environment He is also well remembered as a champion of women’s rights with female engineers working in a mostly male business. He was a man of principle and integrity. Together with Pat, he gave 40 Marriage Encounter weekends (an experience to make good marriages, great) to over 1,000 couples in the New York area and was always in leadership positions. He and Pat taught Natural Family Planning to over 500+ couples and prepared 300+ couples for marriage in the Pre-Cana program. He was committed to sharing his love and life with others and helping them find God in their relationships. They also taught religious instruction to high school seniors.
Dennis was a Eucharistic Minister for 25+ years at St. Gregory’s Parish in NY.
Dennis was a loving model husband and father. He housed and cared for 10 pregnant teens until their babies were born and they could return home to their parents. Dennis and Pat were also foster parents of 20 other teenagers for varying lengths of time. Two sisters, Maureen and Patti, came to the Hayes home when Maureen was 17 years old. She just retired and very recently moved to The Villages to be close to her foster parents. Dennis was a man of many talents. He was musical, danced beautifully and loved to roller skate. He was very articulate and insightful, and had a natural ability to make people feel comfortable. As a result he was able to use his special gift to get to the heart of a situation. When he retired from engineering, he went through a training program at Volunteer Counseling Service, (where Pat worked as a Psychotherapist) and began counseling couples and individuals with emotional issues. Having time on his hands after retirement, his longtime good buddy, Jim, (a teacher and golf coach) got Dennis to feel very comfortable playing golf. The many games they played together led Dennis to love the game.
When they moved to The Villages, Dennis ran for the office of Supervisor of District 8 and was in his 3rd term. He eagerly, with great pleasure, shared his engineering expertise at both the District meetings and PWAC. He worked hard sharing his knowledge to benefit all Villagers, especially those in District 8. Dennis also became a member of CERT. He took on the Vice Presidency and helped to create the ButtonChance Social Society. When they started an AED Community, Dennis was one of the first volunteers to become trained in CPR to serve Villagers.
In 2016, Dennis was miraculously cured of lung cancer in 3 month’s time by the loving prayers of his family, friends and neighbors, Reiki by Maryanne, and his own healing meditations. He had no medical treatment and astonished his doctors.
He very much enjoyed playing golf with his Buttonwood buddies and loved the monthly neighborhood movie discussion group where he grew close to all those who lived nearby. He was often called the “Town Crier” because whenever anyone needed prayers, Dennis would write emails to all asking for prayers and keeping everyone updated.
In all things throughout his life, Dennis was solid, steady, grounded, very dependable and reliable. He was a man with feelings along with great consideration and understanding. He loved to play with his young children and his humorous side was shared with many friends. He will be missed by many people whose lives he touched.