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Arthur F. Hayes, Angelica

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Arthur Francis Hayes of Angelica died May 14, 2024, at age 90, while rehabilitating from the effects of COVID-19. Art was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, on August 31, 1933, the son of the late Arthur Parker Hayes and Anne Murphy Hayes. The Hayes family lived in Windsor Terrace at 555 Prospect Avenue, where Arthur and his friends played stickball, hitched rides on trolley cars, rowed and fished in Prospect Park Lake, and enjoyed matinee movies at Sanders Theater.

Around the age of ten, he worked as a delivery boy for Zeitman’s Meat Market on 10th Avenue, earning tips for his deliveries around the neighborhood. As a teenager, Arthur worked at May’s department store and had his own Good Humor ice cream pushcart on Coney Island. He attended Holy Name School and Alexander Hamilton High School until he and his friends enlisted at age 16 in the US Army Reserve to serve in the Korean War, where they deployed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and trained for artillery reconnaissance. Upon return, he attended the Casey Jones School of Aeronautics in Queens, New York, learning metalworks.

Following discharge from the Army, he attended the Police Academy and became a patrolman in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), wearing his father’s shield number 3698. Art dedicated 20 years to the NYPD working in the 68, 72, 76, 79, and Central Park precincts, retiring as a sergeant. A memory he recalled as a policeman was when he helped deliver a baby. Afterward, the new mother asked Arthur the name of his wife intending to name the baby in honor of Mrs. Hayes.

In July 1964, he married Bette Anne (Punky) Wolcott of Angelica, NY, and lived on 17th Street in Brooklyn until 1972 when he and Bette moved back to Punky’s hometown of Angelica. Art had a second career in law enforcement with the Allegany County Sheriff’s Department as a courtroom deputy and a civil deputy, where he excelled at compassionately helping people navigate the court systems.

Arthur was a former runner, competing in several local 10k and 15k races, frequently placing in his age group. He was very health conscious, lifting weights and rowing in his home gym into his 80s. He was a lifelong learner and prolific reader, especially in matters of history, with a book in hand most evenings. He was deeply interested in the history and culture of the Haudenosaunee, especially the Seneca Nation. While in his 50s, Arthur earned an associate degree at Jamestown Community College in Olean. His passion for history also took him internationally twice to Turkey, site-seeing ancient ruins and learning basic Turkish so he could communicate while vacationing. In later retirement, when not enjoying time with his family, he could usually be found nurturing his yard in Angelica with his beloved Aussiedoodle Metu, reading, or watching “The History Channel.”

Arthur was predeceased by his wife Punky in 2022, and his siblings Helen (Gerard) Lang and John (Kathleen) Hayes. He is survived by his sister Anne (Sloane) of Angelica, his sister-in-law Mikie (Don) Burr of Wellsville, his son Steven (Laura) of Bemus Point, NY, and his daughter Karen of Maryland. He was known as “grampa” by his four grandchildren, Shelby Hayes Wheeler, and Keeley, Jenna, and Ryann Hayes. He enjoyed annual trips to the Maple Tree Inn with his grandnieces Rachel and Sophie Hayes. Many beloved nieces and nephews knew him as Uncle Arthur.

A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held at a future date at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in Until the Day Dawn Cemetery in Angelica, New York. Arthur wished any donations in his memory be made to the Allegany County SPCA in Belmont, New York.

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