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Douglas Hayes, former chair of Laurel Historic District Commission, dies

Douglas Hayes, former chair of the city’s Laurel Historic District Commission, died Dec. 3 from injuries sustained in a car crash.

Hayes, who moved to Walkersville last year to be near family, cared about his community deeply, according to Laurel Mayor Craig Moe.

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“He was very gracious and humble. An individual who always went out of his way to say ‘Hi’ to you,” Moe said.

Moe appointed Hayes to the Laurel Historic District Commission in October 2010. In 2015, Hayes became vice chair and, in June 2016, became chair of the commission, a position he held until his resignation in July 2019.

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“I asked him to stay on a little longer until we could find a replacement,” Moe said. “He was very gracious and did that, and I appreciated that.”

Hayes was involved with his parish, St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, and was an active member of Laurel Historical Society, helping with exhibits.

“I served with Doug on both the Laurel Historic District Commission, and on the exhibits committee at the Laurel Historical Society,” wrote Karen Lubieniecki, chair of the Laurel Historical Society, in an email. “He was a dedicated preservationist and brought calm judgement and, as chair, leadership to its deliberations, and a commitment to preserving Laurel’s historic fabric. As a member of the LHS exhibit committee, he was an enthusiastic and diligent researcher, writer and team member.”

Moe echoed Lubieniecki on Hayes’ leadership abilities.

“He was always ready for his meetings. He came and knew what he wanted to talk about,” Moe said.

Ann Bennett, executive director of Laurel Historical Society, wrote in an email:

“We were shocked and saddened to hear of Doug’s passing. Doug’s passion and curiosity were infectious and he brought great enthusiasm and knowledge to our Exhibits Committee. He was quick to find interesting facts and enjoyed taking deep dives into his research. We hope that Doug’s legacy and commitment to the history and people of Laurel will live on through the Laurel Historical Society.”

Hayes graduated from Richard Montgomery High in Rockville. He studied journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park from 1971 to 1974 and at the University of Maryland University College, where he graduated in 1978. In 2017, he officially retired after a career working in IT support and analysis.

“He was also a neighbor and a friend, and in all his roles he will be much missed,” Lubieniecki wrote.

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