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In Memory of . . . John F. "Jack" Hayward (1918-2012)

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 09, 2012

The Rev. Dr. John F. "Jack” Hayward died on September 24, 2012. He was 94 years old.

Rev. Hayward was born in Winthrop, MA on May 8, 1918 to Catherine and Frank Hayward. He graduated with an A.B. from Harvard University in 1940. He went on to attain a B.D. from Meadville Theological School in 1943 and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1949. Finally, in 1968, he earned a D.D. from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Rev. Hayward was ordained on June 10, 1943. He served as a military chaplain in the United States Naval Reserve and later, in the Marines, from 1943-1946. He was called to serve as minister of the First Unitarian Church in Columbus, OH from 1948-1951. He then began his career in higher education at the University of Chicago, serving as an Assistant Professor of Religion and Art from 1951-1956 and as an Assistant Professor of Philosophical Theology from 1956-1961. He went on to work as an Associate Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School from 1961-1968. In the years spanning 1968-1983, he served as the Chair of the Department of Religious Study at Southern Illinois University. He retired in 1983.

A passionate writer on the power of the ongoing relationship between art, mythology and religious life, Rev. Hayward’s words were published in Through the Rose Window: Art, Myth and the Religious Imagination (Skinner House, 1980), a collection of sermons that span over 30 years. Earlier in his career, he also wrote Existentialism and Religious Liberalism (Beacon Press, 1962).

Rev. Hayward was a proud, founding member of Prairie Group. He served as the Scribe for over 20 years, and received Emeritus status from them upon his retirement from the group after 54 years.

Rev. Hayward’s chief delight while at Harvard University was being in the Harvard Glee Club. He sang in public concerts, including a few with the Boston Symphony. A life-long devotion to the arts – specifically classical music – led Rev. Hayward and his first wife, Muriel Sternglanz Hayward, to establish the Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, which still performs at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship today.

Regarding a performance of Hamlet that he attended when he was much younger, Rev. Hayward once wrote,

I can still see in my mind’s eye an almost totally dark stage where an invisible Hamlet was speaking with the equally invisible ghost of his royal father. All of heaven, hell, life, and death had to be visualized by the movement of Hamlet’s two small hands. Nevertheless, the eloquence was there to prove it possible that each of us, before we die, may hope to believe that life is beautiful, terrifying, and self-justifying, and that gratitude for life itself is our best way of saying farewell.

Rev. Hayward is survived by his loving wife, Lois Hayward; daughter, Miriam Hayward and her husband, Rick Herbert; son, David Goodward and his wife, Margaret; grandchildren, Megan Hayward, Zachary Hayward, Joseph Herbert, Gina Hayward, Gavin Goodward, and Jenna Goodward; and great-grandson, Jaden. He was predeceased by his sons, Peter Hayward and Steven Hayward; and his beloved first wife, Muriel Sternglanz Hayward.

A memorial service will take place on November 3, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale, IL 62901.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any of the following organizations:

Southern Illinois Chamber Music Society, School of Music, Altgeld Hall, Mail Code 4302, Southern Illinois University, 1000 S. Normal Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901;

TIP Hospice of Southern Illinois, 707 Walnut St., Murphysboro, IL 62966;

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 1231 Lincoln Drive, Mail Code 4429, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901;

Good Samaritan Ministries of Carbondale, 701 South Marion St., Carbondale, IL 62901.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Lois Hayward at 1020 Villa Ct., Carbondale, IL 62901.

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