Mary Lynn (Randall) Hayes, at the age of 64, with her husband, two sons, daughter-in-law, and a dear friend by her side, completed her life journey after a brave and bold battle with cancer at her lake house in Longwood, Florida this past Tuesday, the 15th of August 2017.
Mary was born in the river city of LaCrosse, Wisconsin to Richard and Marion Randall. Growing up to the north, she would later graduate from Onalaska High School (class of ’71) and afterwards the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreational Therapy. During which time she married her high school sweetheart Jeff in 1975 and would go on to have two sons, Zachary and J. Hannibal.
She was a devoted, loving wife and mother with her world revolving around her precious family, friends, and animals that were on the farm outside of New Hartford, Minnesota. Working with her horses, raising her flock of sheep, tending the garden, and enjoying bonfires in the evenings were among her favorite things, along with hosting holidays and family get-togethers during any season.
When she wasn’t working on the farm, she was helping others as a nursing assistant, a recreational therapist in behavior health, as well as a director of multiple handicapped day care programs at Franciscan Skemp Healthcare in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, from 1974 until 2002. Upon moving to central Florida she continued her vocation in life as a director in several assisted living and memory care facilities in the area. Even after retiring, Mary continued her life work of helping others by visiting neighbors and participating in her church by taking communion to members who were unable to attend regular services.
Mary was extremely grateful and proud of every moment and day of her life and showed us not only how to live, but also love life by being deeply committed to her faith, family, and friends. She would always greet you with a smile and lit up the room whenever she walked in, being full of inspiration with a heart of gold. She was nothing short of an amazing, caring, and giving human being which shown through time and time again around holidays and special events. From throwing birthday parties for her two boys to baking dozens of cookies for special deliveries at Christmas, Mary was always able to make folks feel special.
She also loved heading to the beach and constantly found peace with the warm sunshine on her face and sand between her toes, especially while attending the St. Peter the Fisherman Episcopal Church Surfer’s Mass at sunset on New Smyrna Beach. However, it didn’t always have to be warm out for her to enjoy a sand & salt water setting, as she and her dear husband would join close friends for Thanksgiving weekend at a beach house on St. George Island, Florida for over the past decade.
Our beloved Mary is survived by her husband Jeff and their children Zachary Hayes of Seattle, WA and J. Hannibal (Naja) Hayes of Zimmerman, MN; her sister Paula (Ron) Hoff of Sacramento, CA and their children Alicia, Samantha, and Kelsey Hoff; and her brother Glenn Randall of West Salem, WI.
A celebration of life gathering will be held on Saturday, August 26th from 10:00AM to Noon, at the Landings of Longwood development for her friends in Florida. All family and friends are welcomed.
A celebration of life gathering will also be held sometime in Wisconsin during the month of October for her family and friends from the tri-state area. All family and friends are welcomed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to either of the following organizations or to a charity of your choice in her name.
Heifer International Foundation – www.heifer.org OR www.heiferfoundation.org
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (LaCrosse, WI) – www.fspa.org
Mary’s family would like to say a special thanks to all the doctors and nursing staff within the Florida Hospital Medical Group, specifically the Cancer Institute of Florida, and the Center for Specialized Surgery. As well as the nursing staff on the 10th Floor of the Women’s Wing of Florida Hospital for their immense kindness and care of our beloved wife, mother, and friend.