PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Agnes C. Hayes Gerard, a Peekskill native, died Oct. 13 at the A.O. Fox Memorial Nursing Home in Oneonta, N.Y. She was 93.
Gerard was born Sept. 7, 1919, in Peekskill to Ida Bell and Eugene J. Hayes. A member of the Church of the Assumption, she attended the Guardian School and Drum Hill Junior High School. She graduated from Peekskill High School in 1937.
In 1939, she married William J. Gerard, a purchasing agent for Standard Brands. He also owned and operated the Hollowbrook Tackle Shop. He predeceased her in 1993. Gerard worked for the New York Telephone Company as a supervisor and evening chief operator for 37 years before her retirement.
Upon retirement, Gerard and her husband purchased a 19th century farm in Worcester, N.Y. She relocated to Oneonta 14 years later, upon the death of her husband. She was an active member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Oneonta and a volunteer with St. Mary's Church at Fox Hospital.
She was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers. She had a love for animals and birds, was a familiar face at antique shows and auctions and was a collector of Americana memorabilia, especially old American flags, her family said. She was best known for her love of fashionable hats and was often referred to as the "hat lady."
Gerard is survived by two children, Judith Gerard Kraft, of Saugerties, N.Y., and William J. (Debra) Gerard Jr., of Yorba Linda, Calif.; a sister, Pricilla Ewing, of Briarcliff; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by two sisters, Gladys Ambrosini and Winifred Whitney; three brothers, Eugene Hayes, Vincent Hayes and Bernard Hayes.
She will be laid to rest in Laguna Beach, Calif. There are no visiting hours or services. Lewis, Hurley and Pietrobono Funeral Home in Oneonta is handling arrangements
Those wishing may plant a tree in her memory or make a donation to the Susquehanna SPCA in Cooperstown, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.