Susan M. Hayes, 68, Adams Center

ADAMS CENTER, NY —  Susan M. Hayes, 68, died Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, at the family’s home in Adams Center surrounded by family and friends. She had suffered the effects of Alzheimer’s disease for several years. We are thankful for the support of friends, family, and the team of caregivers who kept Susan comfortable as she declined.

Susan Marie LaHart was born Sept. 21, 1951, in Lake Placid, NY, the daughter of John and Joan (Grant) LaHart (both now deceased).

Susan was the third of six siblings: William, Linda (married to Scott Benty), Russell, Steve (deceased), and Lisa (married to George Spence). Susan had fond memories of growing up in the “old” Lake Placid. She enjoyed working and playing with friends at the local restaurants and hotels in the mountain village.

She met her lifelong partner, Wenzell, at Jefferson Community College and they were married in 1972. Susan joined Wenzell to run the family dairy farm near Smithville, a big change from growing up in Lake Placid. She embraced the farming life, and for over 30 years she helped with whatever needed to be done. She personally fed and raised all the calves on the farm, dedicating both her time and attention to growing good tempered cows.

Susan was a loving mother to three boys. Matthew Hayes is married and lives in the Czech Republic with his wife Kata and their two children (ages 7 and 11). Mark Hayes is also married and lives in California with his wife Alicia and their two kids (ages 8 and 10). Eric John Hayes was born in 1982 with genetic abnormalities and lived just 10 months. The loss of Eric and later the challenge of engaging with her grandchildren, due to both distance and her own failing health, weighed heavily on Susan.

Susan’s deep generosity of spirit led her to contribute beyond her immediate family. She absolutely loved all children. As her own boys got a bit older, she cared for other young ones after school. Her niece, Tamara Armstrong, was especially close to Susan. Susan was active with the local 4-H chapter and also served on the South Jefferson School Board from 1992 to 1996. Susan also loved to sew and took up quilting when the kids were all out of the house. She always had a vision of what she wanted to create. The best part of quilting was spending time with her dear friends Mary Stockman and Mary Dufresne.

Susan Hayes was a kind, generous, and caring person who will be missed by all who knew her.

Calling hours will be 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Piddock Funeral Home in Adams, with a funeral service immediately following. Burial will be at a later date in Smithville Cemetery.

The family is encouraging donations in lieu of flowers to benefit STAR Palliative Care of Jefferson County (c/o Hospice) or Smithville Cemetery Fund, c/o Wilbur Lennox, 7299 County Route 17, Lacona, NY 13083.

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