Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Howard Hayes, Athletic Equipment Manager, Recalled

Word was recently received that Howard Hayes, who served as athletic equipment manager for WRA for 23 years, passed away at the age of 82. Howard (as he was fondly known to the student body) came to the school in 1961 and once described his job as "maintenance of the athletic equipment, inventory, seeing the dry cleaning is done, maintenance in the gym and pool, and helping Mr. Helwig" (Athletic Director George L. Helwig, 1959-1974).

But Howard Hayes was so well liked by the students that in the fall of 1968 when WRA was facing a crucial game against long-time rival Cranbrook, he was asked to be part of a student rally held in Ellsworth Hall. The Friday night rally was a takeoff on the popular musical Camelot and featured a joust where the WRA knight defeated the Cranbrook challenger. As the "stricken" Cranbrook jouster lay on the floor begging for a towel to soothe his wounds, Howard emerged from the depths of a dark corner and cried out, "No towels today!" As the crowd of WRA fans rose up cheering, they hoisted Howard upon their shoulders as a photo in the Reserve Record attests. One cheerleader commented that "it had to be the greatest single moment in Reserve rally history."

Howard continued to serve the school until his retirement in 1983. His own interests included golf, bowling, and being an avid reader of detective novels. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and grandchildren. One of his admirers (in the late '60's) noted "that without Howard the whole athletic system would come to a grinding halt." We salute the memory of Howard Hayes and his long service to Western Reserve Academy.