Charles L. Hayes

Charles L. Hayes

Charles L. Hayes, former secretary and senior vice president of Monumental Life Insurance Co., died Feb. 3 of cancer at the Brookshire Hospice in Hillsborough, N.C.

The former Towson resident was 85.

Charles Lawton Hayes was born and raised in Cherryville, N.C., where he graduated in 1944 from Lowell High School.

After serving in the Navy during the waning days of World War II, Mr. Hayes enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned a bachelor's degree in business in 1949.

Mr. Hayes, who was also a certified public accountant, began his career at Monumental in 1949 in its actuarial department and was promoted to methods analyst in 1952. By the late 1950s, he was head of its data processing department.

He was named assistant secretary of Monumental in 1958 and promoted to vice president and secretary in 1966.

Mr. Hayes was held in high regard by his fellow employees, said Dick Lippert, who was the company's first programmer after computers arrived in 1958.

"He was very serious about his work, and he would dwell on things and go over and over them again to make sure they were right before he released it," recalled Mr. Lippert, who retired in 1996. "He was very meticulous and made sure our work was correct. He was an accountant and very serious."

Mr. Lippert also recalled Mr. Hayes' lighter side.

"His nickname was 'Good Time Charlie.' He was a great guy. If you had a party and things were slow, Charlie would enliven them up. He had a great sense of humor," said Mr. Lippert. "At company dances, he was always the first one on the floor."

While working at the insurance company, which is now part of Dutch insurer Aegon NV, Mr. Hayes became unwittingly involved in a flimflam scheme when someone posing as Mr. Hayes bilked $9,020 from Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co., and $7,020 from Maryland National Bank on the same day in 1972.

Julian Simmons, who was then public relations director for Mercantile, told The Baltimore Sun that "a man calling himself Charles L. Hayes, a Monumental Life senior vice president, called Agnes Rosendale, an assistant bank manager, at the Mercantile branch in the 1100 block of N. Charles St.

"He imitated Mr. Hayes perfectly because Miss Rosendale knew Mr. Hayes," said Mr. Simmons, who explained that the insurance company and bank were in the same building.

Mr. Hayes was a member of the company's Old Timers Club, a retirees organization.

After retiring from Monumental in 1985, Mr. Hayes worked for several years as director of finance for the Dome Corp., a subsidiary of the Johns Hopkins University, before retiring a second time.

In 1964, the former Cedarcroft resident moved to a home on Doves Cove Road in the Hampton neighborhood of Baltimore County.

Mr. Hayes was back in the news again in 2005 after a 4-foot-tall fiberglass statue of a nude Neanderthal man with a deer slung over his back was stolen from his backyard, where it had stood for eight years.

The statue, which had been part of a celebrated exhibit in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the National Geographic Society, came to rest in Mr. Hayes' yard after being rescued from the trash after the show by Scott Pittman, Mr. Hayes' son-in-law.

At the time, Mr. Hayes and his wife were preparing to move to a condominium in Chapel Hill, N.C. He told The Sun he wanted to leave the statue behind so the neighbors would have something to remember him by.

After searching the woods with neighbors, he called police and filed a report, in which the Neanderthal was referred to as a "caveman."

"His hope is that if any one sees a caveman, one who isn't breathing, they will either call Baltimore County police or return the man to his spot in the woods. No questions about what happened or about whether we have evolved as a species will be asked," reported The Sun.

"It was never recovered," his daughter, Joy Hayes-Pittman of Bolton Hill, said Friday.

Mr. Hayes had been an active member of University Baptist Church and had been a trustee of what is now McDaniel College and chairman of the board of Junior Achievement of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Mr. Hayes was an avid swimmer and had been president of the Hampton Pool Association. He also swam in the master's program at Towson University and continued swimming at the Farm Club and Meadowmont Wellness Center after moving to Chapel Hill.

He was also a member of the Johns Hopkins Club, Towson Golf and Country Club, and the Maryland Golf and Country Club.

Mr. Hayes was married for 62 years to the former Joyce Williams.

"He met her when he was a college student at Chapel Hill. He needed to borrow a cup of sugar and went across the street to her house," said Ms. Hayes-Pittman.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Hayes is survived by a son, Charles G. Hayes of Santa Monica, Calif.; another daughter, Jill Fulton of Wayne, Pa.; four sisters, Alma Biagini of Raleigh, N.C., Linda Hayes and Martha Hayes, both of Charlotte, N.C., and Pat Heavner of York, S.C.; and two granddaughters.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com