Sunday, June 7, 2015

Thomas E. Hays Jr.

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — Thomas E. “Gabby” Hays Jr., 86, of South Burlington, Vermont, died Sunday, May 17, 2015, at the Vermont Respite House in Williston, Vermont, after a short battle with cancer.

He was born May 25, 1928, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the son of the late Thomas E. Hays MD and Marie (Morpeth) Hays. He moved to Burlington as a young child. He played baseball and basketball at Burlington High School.

He had several jobs throughout his life, but his favorite job was sportswriter for both the Burlington Free Press and later for the Springfield Reporter. He loved coaching! He coached basketball in Burlington and American Legion Baseball in Springfield for many years. The boys he coached became extended family members to the family. He was an avid Boston Red Sox fan, and enjoyed the verbal exchanges he would have with Yankee fans!

He was a member of the Springfield Elks Lodge for 53 years.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Doris (Fay) Hays of South Burlington; three daughters, Deb Pederson and her husband, John, of Weathersfield, Linda Stokes and her husband, Jim, of Springfield, and Susan Tarbell and her husband, Jim, of North Springfield; 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; five stepchildren, Jana Doria McGrath of St. Albans, Vermont, John Doria of Reno, Nevada, James Doria of Middlebury, Vermont, Jack Doria of Cayucos, California, and Jeremy Doria of Wakefield, Rhode Island; and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents, and his daughter Nancy Gurney.

Tommy's family extends special thanks to Denise and Jeanne at the VNA for their help, care and support during his illness.

There will be a Celebration of Life and Elks Service at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 7, at the Springfield Elks Lodge on Park Street in Springfield. Please come and share stories of Tommy! Burial will be held later at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Tommy’s memory to the Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston VT 05495; or to the American Cancer Society, 55 Day Lane, Williston VT 05495.

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