Harold J. "Babe" Hayes

  • Born: July 2, 1934
  • Died: April 22, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family


Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Babe by adding your memories.

Harold J. "Babe" Hayes died at the VA Hospital in Bedford on April 22, 2020 at the age of 85, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, with family by his side. Babe was born in Charlestown on July 2, 1934 to the late Harold & Mary (Noonan) Hayes. He was raised in Charlestown and graduated from Don Bosco High School, Class of 1952.

After he graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corp and served his country with pride as a Sergeant during the Korean Conflict from 1952 – 1955. Babe worked for the M.B.T.A. for 30 years, a member of Machinist Local 264. Babe raised his family in Malden and resided in Melrose when he retired.

Babe's generosity of spirit left a mark on all of those whose paths he crossed. His selfless devotion to his children and grandchildren (and their friends) was limitless. He gave those he loved the gift of his time and attention. His neighbors will recall him as the guy who would snow-blow his driveway and then take care of the rest of the block as well. Babe never expected anything in return for his generosity or kindness. He simply did what he felt were the right things to do. Even toward the end of his life, when Alzheimer's had taken from him his ability to recall those that loved him most, he remained a considerate, polite, and thankful patient to his caregivers at the Bedford Veteran's Hospital This is the legacy of a good man.

Babe loved spending summers in Wolfeboro, NH with his family. He also enjoyed some winters in Naples Florida. Fishing was one of his passions and he spent countless hours on Crescent Lake sharing that love with his children & grandchildren.

Harold was the beloved husband of 63 years to Patricia A. (Lynch) Hayes. Loving father of Carol O'Brien & her husband John of Malden, Denise Fitzgerald & Mark Fitzgerald of Andover, Jeanne McNiff & her husband James of Stoneham, the late William J. Hayes and his wife Denise of Paxton. Caring brother of Mary (Hayes) Littlewood of Malden and the late Kathleen (Hayes) Puopolo and Francis "Skippy" Hayes.

Papa leaves behind his 11 grandchildren who were his world . Michael O'Brien & wife Jennifer of Wakefield, Lauren Acevedo & husband Charlie Acevedo of Londonderry, NH, Caitlin DeMartino & husband James of Wakefield, Shannon Fitzgerald of Andover, Alysia DeMartino & husband Joseph of North Andover. Ryan Hayes & wife Courtney of Worcester, Mark Fitzgerald (USMC) of Andover, Dylan McNiff Panzarella & Rachel of Clinton & Jessica, Michael & Kayla McNiff of Stoneham.

Papa Babe leaves behind his 12 beautiful great grandchildren, Abby & Ava O'Brien, Isabelle & Karlie Acevedo, Lilah & Duke DeMartino, Hailey, William & Violet DeMartino, Jameson Hayes, Meredith & Emilia Panzarella.
Also survived by many loving nieces, nephews & friends.

We want to thank the staff from the Bedford VA for their exceptional and compassionate care that they gave to Babe. They went above and beyond while also supporting his family. We will forever be grateful.

Visitation & Funeral are private due to COVID 19 restrictions. A celebration of Babe's life will be held at a later date.
In Lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Harold's name to the Alzheimer's Association
https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Events/Tributes-AlzheimersChampions?pg=fund&fr_id=1060&pxfid=618261

Thank you to everyone for all your love & prayers during these years. Please send the family a message of condolence on this webpage!