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In loving memory of
Mary Lynn Hayes
  • July 23, 1953
  • -
  • August 15, 2017

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Obituary

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.


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  1. 23 Apr 2018
    Marsha Greenhut says:
    You were one special woman. You will never be forgotten.
    Love,Marsha

  2. 04 Sep 2017
    Rita Motschenbacher Peterson says:
    Dear Jeff, Zach and Hanny,
    I wish we were back in our strollers our moms pushed together on North 4th Street. We bought red plastic Beatle boots at Jupiter and rode the escalator at Penneys.BFF Mary, Luv U and miss you.

    And she cared enough to learn to spell Motschenbacher.

  3. 01 Sep 2017
    Ruffin Rhodes says:
    Jeff, I never had the pleasure of meeting your lovely wife, but just by reading some of the tributes, I can tell she was a special lady. My sincere condolences to you and your family for the loss of your life partner, wife, and the mother of your children. Ruffin Rhodes

  4. 27 Aug 2017
    Debbie Stellpflug Clarkin says:
    Jeff and boys, You all know better than I do what an incredible woman Mary was. You have my sympathy and hope that you can find comfort in your memories during this difficult time. She had the smile if an angel that would light up the world.

  5. 27 Aug 2017
    Al Butler says:
    Mary was always a bit adventurous. She gleefully explored a little of the Scotch whisky world and seemed always interested in whatever topic was raised in conversation. She was a warm friend who will be greatly missed.

  6. 24 Aug 2017
    Lillian & Ken Lasseter says:
    Jeff,
    The Friends of Ocoee History Preservation offers deepest sympathy to you and your family. Our prayers and condolences for strength and peace.

  7. 24 Aug 2017
    Kim Simon Butler says:
    Dear Jeff and family
    I am so sorry for your loss. Mary was always so sweet to me when she lived in Onalaska. I will be thinking of you all and sending prayers.

  8. 24 Aug 2017
    Cindy Buckholtz says:
    Jeff and boys, I am so sorry for your loss of Mary. I had no idea she was ill. Life is so unfair and cancer so unforgiving. Jeff my heart breaks for you. I wish I could help. If I can help you in any way please let me know. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. 22 Aug 2017
    Jeanne Guenther Ahlstrand says:
    Dear Jeff and family,
    Hold close to your memories of Mary.
    I can't tell you the miles we walked to school and back, having a gabfest the entire time. Oh, and the slumber parties!
    I have such wonderful memories of Mary and Onalaska.
    We now live in FL and I am going to try very hard to get to Longwood on Sat.
    God bless you all.

  10. 21 Aug 2017
    Pam Key says:
    Jeff and family....my thoughts and prayers are with you. I was so sad to hear the news. Mary was definitely a wonderful person and I remember her as always being happy. Will hopefully see you in October to celebrate her life.

  11. 21 Aug 2017
    Sally Eglinton says:
    Jeff and family, you have my deepest sympathy at this difficult time. Since I lost Ken in June of last year, I know just how difficult this time can be. Mary was such a delightful girl to have as a student at Onalaska High School. Everyone will miss that warm smile! I plan to be in attendance when you celebrate Mary's life back in Wisconsin in October.

  12. 20 Aug 2017
    Pam Fields says:
    There are hardly words to express how very much I will miss my dear friend of 59 years. We certainly shared some adventures, and were looking forward to more until cancer removed that option. Calm seas and fair weather, girlfriend.

    Pam Fields

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