Theda Hayes (Mason)

Obituary of Theda V. Hayes (Mason)

On January 4th at the age of 104, Theda Mason Hayes of Webster NY passed away. She was preceded by Richard, her husband of almost 60 years.  She was born in Marion, NY and enjoyed keeping in touch with her childhood connections. She was recently honored at an Alumni reunion as their oldest living graduate.

She leaves behind her family, many life-long and new-found friends, and the loving Caregivers and Pastoral staff of St. John’s home.

Knowing that Theda led a proud and purposeful life, her family believes that she left with few regrets. Her surviving Daughter, Elizabeth Gruttadaurio (Sutherland), however, suspects that her Mom is likely disappointed to have not achieved her expressed goal of beating the record for the longest living Webster resident (Ma Burke at 108 years).

Gram also expressed a desire to live long enough to be a Great-Great-Grandmother. That wish was not fulfilled in time by her Grandchildren, Renee (Raymond) Short, Michael Gruttadaurio, and Mark (Waverly) Gruttadaurio and her young Great-Grandsons, RJ Short, and Luca and Gabriel Gruttadaurio.

She was cherished by her extended family. She adored them all; her many Nieces and Nephews and their children and their children’s children. She loved sharing stories and visits and pictures with them. And since she was technically a Great-Great-Aunt, her second goal should be considered close enough to accomplished.

She was rarely idle, never wasting a moment that could otherwise be spent in service to others. Every visit started with her asking, “What can I do?” We are sure that the minute she got to the Pearly Gates, she told (not asked) St. Peter to run and get some heavenly robes for her to fold. When she did allow herself a pastime, she enjoyed gardening, crafts, and fishing. She always led by example, showing a pride of purpose and allowing others to see the rewards of responsibility. And she loved learning. Nothing would make her eyes light up more than being asked to help with homework. You knew she saw it as a gift. Beneath her seriousness, she also had a subtle silliness. When you’d see that twinkle in her eye and see her satisfied grin- you’d know she was about to drop an unexpected comedic gem. 

When recently asked about her secret to long life, she replied, “Oatmeal and fresh air every morning.” She then added, “And, just be kind to one another.”

A service to honor her will be held at West Webster cemetery on Maple Dr. on a date to be announced. Details to follow. Theda was an active life-long member of the WWFD Ladies Auxiliary.  Her family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be extended to the WWFD.


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