Mary Margaret Hayes

April 22, 1936 ‒ March 11, 2017

Bellville, Ohio

Mary Margaret (Goodnight) Hayes, 80, went home to be with her Lord. As the pink morning light shone on Saturday March 11, 2017, she passed away at her home surrounded by family. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 55 years, Bill Hayes.

Mary was a bright and active woman that touched the lives of so many through a lifetime of good works. Her life was full of family, friends, church, community, travels, and a career that she loved as an elementary teacher. Born on April 22, 1936, the oldest child of Russell and Mary (Bister) Goodnight. Mary grew up in the countryside near Lucas. Mary graduated from Lucas High School and pursued a degree in Elementary Education from Ashland College. Her first priority was her home and family. She and Bill committed their love and care to raising their two daughters. They provided a warm comfortable home where their children could grow and explore in the fields and streams around their home. She always encouraged the best and provided a safe place to bring any care or trouble that life would bring their way. When the girls were well settled in their school years, Mary returned to teaching. She continued her studies at Bowling Green State University earning a Master’s degree in Education. Mary was a teacher for 30 years first at Woodville Elementary and then Lexington Central Elementary. The time Mary spent as an elementary school teacher, mostly as a 4th grade teacher, was something she treasured. She firmly believed that it was an honor and a privilege to be a teacher and the memories of her hundreds of students in the classroom gave her lasting joy in life.

Mary was a member of First English Lutheran Church in Mansfield, Ohio for most of her life where she served as a greeter and prepared communion while cultivating lasting friendships in the church through Sunday School classes and fellowship. After retirement, she volunteered at The Store and Bellville Elementary School, continuing a life spent serving others and teaching young people. Mary filled her days taking long walks in the country, reading a wide range of fiction and enjoying the love of her two cats, Ramon and Abbey.

She is survived by her daughter, Deborah Brandt and son-in-law, Robert Brandt and daughter, Laura Cole and son-in-law, Jeffrey Cole, five grandchildren, Laura Wentz (Nick), Zack Cole (Larissa), Jevan Cole (Becky), Rachel Schultz (Jeffrey), and Kaity Mabry (Caleb) and three great-grandchildren, Christopher and Lilly Blankenship, and Aislynn Mabry. She is also survived by her brother, Jim Goodnight, sister, Ruth Spayde and sister-in-law, Helen O’Connell, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Mary’s family would like to sincerely thank the Visiting Angels Mid-Ohio for providing Mary with both comfort and gentle care. Each of you were a blessing to her and to all of us.

Private funeral services will be held for the family at Snyder’s Funeral Home, officiated by Reverend Doug Pretorius, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, in Bellville, Ohio. Interment will be at Oak Grove Memorial Park, Mansfield, Ohio.

Friends may make memorial contributions to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or the Bellville Neighborhood Outreach Center.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Mary’s family, and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

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  • I was very sorry to read of Mary’s passing. I got to know her as a loving and caring parent, grandparent, teacher and a fellow member of Delta Kappa Gamma.
    My deepest sympathy to all of you!

    Sincerely, Jane Kurdzel

  • Surely Mary is most happy to once again be with Bill and in the Lord’s presence. For several years we sat near Mary and Bill at First English. I was privileged to teach with Mary at Central also for a few short years. She was the best. As she smiled her sweet smile and with a twinkle in her eye, she often reminded me :don’t sweat the small stuff.” Our condolences to all of her beloved family.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Mary and I were friends from first grade in Lucas school. We found each other again as young parents living near each other in rural Bellville. She was a wonderful friend and I always will remember her as a very special person.

  • Mrs. Hayes was my daughter, Kristin Hoover’s fourth grade teacher. She loved her and I so enjoyed working with her as room parent that year. What a kind woman and I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter has since become a teacher and I would like to think that Mrs. Hayes would be proud she followed in her footsteps

  • Life always seem so short, Mary was blessed to have a wonderful family who loved and cared for her especially these last few years. I am sure that she and Bill are smiling and are at peace with each other and the Lord.
    I am especially praying for you and your family and hope that you will find peace and happiness, enjoy your family.
    I am here whenever you need me.