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1930 Harriet 2023

Harriet B. Hays

June 1, 1930 — January 13, 2023

Harriet Blanche Varney Hays passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, January 13th. Her husband of 70 years, Marc, died one week and one day earlier on January 5th.  Harriet was born on June 1st, 1930 to American Baptist missionaries Drew and Ruth Varney. She lived in India for 17 years where she attended Kodai Kanal International School. Upon returning to America in 1948 Harriet graduated from Monroe High School in Rochester, NY. She then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Keuka College and in later years received her Master’s degree in Counseling and Family Therapy from Butler University.  On Friday the 13th, 1952 Harriet married Marc/Sonny Hays in Rochester, NY. Together they navigated Marc’s military service at Samson Air Force Base; his studies at the Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky; and his pastorates at Pleasant Grove Baptist, Louisville; Switzerland County Baptist, Vevay, Indiana (1956-1961); Madison First Baptist, Madison, Indiana (1962-1969); and First Baptist of Plainfield, Plainfield, Indiana (1970-1980).  Harriet’s life epitomized service to others. Throughout the years she shared her gifts as a Sunday School teacher, member of and soloist in several church choirs, nursery worker, Cub Scout Den Mother, School Room Mother, motivator for mission involvement and a volunteer at the Infant Care Center at the First Baptist Church of Plainfield. She and Marc were also workshop leaders for Marriage Enrichment as well as the inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church.  Knitting and sewing were two of Harriet’s favorite pastimes. She was also an avid scrapbooker putting together over 40 of them chronicling her life and that of her family. Among other things, her family will always remember her as the “envelope queen”. Every budget item dealing with daily life had an envelope. She kept up this practice until the end of her life.  Harriet is survived by sons John of Palm Bay, FL; Paul of New York, NY; and daughter Mary (Glenda) of Indianapolis. She was the proud aunt of six nieces and nephews and a devoted and loving friend to family, chosen family and many others.  A Celebration of Life service for both Harriet and Marc will be held on Saturday, February 4th at the First Baptist Church of Plainfield, 1012 Stafford Road. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Celebration of Life will commence with a Military Honor Guard ceremony at 3:00 p.m.   Remote viewing of the service will be available via First Baptist Church of Plainfield’s Facebook page.  Arrangements by Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home, Plainfield.

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