Dody Hayes, 65, died suddenly on May 19 at South Nassau Communities Hospital, succumbing to an aortic aneurysm.
A lifelong Rockville Centre resident, he was one of six children born to George and Mary Hayes. Dody attended St. Agnes elementary and high school and went on to Scranton University where he received a degree in sociology.
After graduating from college in 1968, Dody enlisted in the Marines, taking basic training in North Carolina and attending Officers Candidate School. He served in Vietnam as a first lieutenant. When his tour was up in 1971, he was honorably discharged but remained in the Marine Reserves for the next three years. He received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and frame.
Following his military service, he went on to start his own business and most recently worked locally in Rockville Centre.
His wife Linda (nee Lee) said Dody was her best friend for 37 years — the couple, who have two children, Jennifer, 26, and Bobby, 24, would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in July. Linda described Dody as the most humble and kind person you’d ever want to meet. He was always positive and managed to see the best in people. He had a great sense of humor and a quick smile for everyone. His brother, John, said that Dody was his hero. Dody always had his back.
Dody’s children meant the world to him. He couldn’t have been more proud of Jennifer’s accomplishments, both academically and in her career choice. He was always very supportive. Bobby’s achievements in college and on the lacrosse field couldn’t have made Dody happier. Going to Bobby’s games actually became Dody’s biggest hobby over the years. Dody had a profound impact on the lives of his children, and helped make them the people they are today. Dody’s strength and love were evident until his last day, even as he told his children that everything would be all right.
Dody is survived by his siblings, P.J., Molly, John and Kathy Hayes-Hurley (Bob). He was predeceased by his brother James (Anne). He also leaves behind Linda’s brothers and sisters, retired Col. Robert E. Lee (Carroll), Peggy Santo (Vinnie), Maureen Hutwagner (and the late Fred), Michael, Tommy, Janet Vercillo, Jimmy (Sheila), Billy (Diana) and Nancy Hand (Peter) and is survived by more than 35 nieces and nephews and many friends.
Dody lay in repose at Macken Mortuary. A funeral Mass took place at St. Agnes Cathedral on May 23 after which he was interred at the National Cemetery in Calverton. The family asks that any donations in Dody’s memory be made to the Vietnam Veterans of America.