Leonidas's Story

Text size

ELLSWORTH - Leonidas Braxton Hayes, Jr. M.D., 89, died at his home on January 07, 2016. Lee was born May 17, 1926 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the son of the late Rev. Leonidas B. and Agnes (Rockwell) Hayes.

Following the death of his mother during his birth, he spent the first three years of his life in the care of his grandmother, Dr. Loula Ayers Rockwell, and his foster mother, Miss Lois Green. In later years he spent summers in Asheville with his grandmother and "Mama Green," and school months with his father and step-mother, Margaret. He attended Greensboro High School and Duke University, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society and served in the U.S. Navy V-12 officer education program.

Studying medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he met his future wife, Anne Tatum. They married in December of 1949 and moved to rural Chester Springs, PA, after the birth of their first child, Jonathan. Lee served as a country doctor for 18 years, running a small office including doing house calls at a time when a complete physical cost only $5. Years later one former patient recalled Lee performing all manner of emergency practices for the local farming community when necessary. While helping to raise six children, he shared his love of nature, history, good parties, storytelling, and political engagement. He took his children on trips to museums, the funeral of President John F. Kennedy, and anti-war protest marches.

When the family moved to Maine in 1971, Lee joined the staff at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital and practiced Internal Medicine until he retired in 1999. In addition to his dedication to his patients, Lee served the community through his membership on the boards of the Ellsworth Library and the H.O.M.E. Co-op. He also greatly enjoyed outdoor activities, the Surry Opera Company, and the French Circle. Lee was a frequent contributor to the Ellsworth American letters to the editor page. He also enjoyed reading nonfiction, playing with the family pets, listening to music, singing, hosting parties, and taking photos of family, friends, nature, and his travels to France.

Lee helped to found the Ellsworth Free Clinic in his home office and served as its first medical director. He was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Ellsworth Rotary Club for his leadership and participation in many community activities.

Lee is predeceased by a brother and two sisters. In addition to Anne and Jonathan, of Ellsworth, he is survived by his son Robert and spouse Christina Rusnov of Winslow; daughters Lois and spouse Julie Ogletree of Boston, Julianna and spouse Norm Duphily of Auburn, Suzanne and partner Tom Cappiello of Palmer, Alaska, and Sarah and spouse Mark Dehler of Kanata, Ontario; sisters-in-law Marguerite Cackley of Voorheesville, NY, and Elsa Rockwell of Jaynesville, WI; eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to thank all of the wonderful people of Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, Hancock County Home Care and Hospice, medical care providers and all the family and friends who enriched Lee's life and supported Anne and their children during a long illness.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to HOME Inc., P.O. Box 10, Orland, ME, 04472; Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, 14 McKenzie Ave., Ellsworth; and Downeast Horizons, 1200 State Highway 3, Bar Harbor, ME, 04609.

A gathering and service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 15, 2016 at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin Street, Ellsworth with a reception to follow.

Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com
Published on  January 12, 2016
Send flowers
in memory of Leonidas
See more

Obituary published in

Arrangements by


Share this story with a friend.