Agnes C. (nee Hayes) Gerard
ONEONTA — Agnes C. (nee Hayes) Gerard of Oneonta, passed away Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at the A.O. Fox Nursing Home.
Agnes was born Sept. 7, 1919, in Peekskill, to Ida Bell Hayes and Eugene J. Hayes. A member of the Church of the Assumption community, she attended the Guardian School, Drum Hill Junior High School and graduated from Peekskill High School in 1937.
Agnes was married in 1939, to William J. Gerard, a purchasing agent for Standard Brands and son of a prominent Peekskill family-Minerva and Julius Gerard. An avid sportsman and well-known for the fishing lures he tied, William also owned and operated the Hollowbrook Tackle Shop. He predeceased her in 1993.
A lifelong resident of Peekskill, Agnes worked 37 years for the New York Telephone Company in the capacity of supervisor and evening chief operator before her retirement. Upon retirement, she and her husband purchased a circa 1840 farm in Worcester, and were “gentlemen farmers” for 14 years, before relocating to Oneonta, upon the death of William.
An active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oneonta, Agnes was a communicant and a volunteer for St. Mary’s Church and Fox Hospital. She was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers.
Remembered as a passionate lover of animals and birds, Agnes was a familiar face at antique shows and auctions and a collector of Americana memorabilia, especially old American flags, Agnes was best known for her love of fashionable hats and was often referred to as the “hat lady.”
Agnes loved her family and friends and will be remembered as a devoted mother to her children who survive her, Judith Gerard Kraft of Saugerties, and William J. Gerard Jr. of Yorba Linda, Calif.
She took great pride in her grandchildren, Kelly Kraft Meyer of Sweetbriar, Va., Adam J. Gerard of San Clemente, Calif., Christopher R. Kraft of Saugerties, Jill Gerard Atkinson of Susanville, Calif., Kevin G. Kraft of Cooperstown, William J. Gerard III of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Matthew C. Gerard of Yorba Linda, Calif.; her 10 great-grandchildren, Jordan and Jacob Atkinson; Emily and Sarah Gerard; Will, Allison and Zack Gerard, Hunter Meyer and Benson and Kyle Kraft, will never forget “Granny G.”
Agnes is also survived by a devoted and much loved daughter-in-law, Debra Gerard of Yorba Linda, Calif.; a beloved niece, Deborah Habes of Williamsville; a beloved nephew, Jay Ambrosini of McKeesport, Pa.; and loving neighbors, Carla and Terry Harkenreader of Oneonta.
One of seven children, Agnes was predeceased by two sisters, Mrs. Armando (Gladys) Ambrosini of Clarence, and Mrs. John (Winifred) Whitney; and three brothers, Eugene Hayes of Hyde Park, Vincent Hayes of Buchanan, and Bernard Hayes of Brewster, Mass.
She is survived by a sister, Pricilla Ewing of Briarcliff.
Agnes will be laid to rest in Laguna Beach, Calif., where she has many happy memories. There will be no visiting hours or services.
Agnes requested that those who choose to do so plant a tree in her memory or make a donation to the Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326 (www.susquehannaspca.org).
At Agnes’ request:
Do not mourn for me- I’ve had a great life!
More ups than downs! Celebrate my life!
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lhpfuneralhome.com.
The Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home in Oneonta, is assisting the family.