Wil­liam E. Hay­man Jr.

Lutheran min­is­ter who served as a pas­tor in Columbia and Dun­dalk was known for his de­vo­tion to chil­dren

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Fred­er­ick N. Rasmussen fras­mussen@balt­sun.com

The Rev. Wil­liam E. “Sonny” Hay­man Jr., a re­tired Lutheran min­is­ter who led churches in Columbia and Dun­dalk, died of gas­tric cancer Tues­day at Osce­ola Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Kis­sim­mee, Fla. He was 66. “He brought joy and a very rooted sense that God is still at work in the world and that we’re a part of it,” said the Rev. Kristi E. Kunkel, pas­tor of New Light Lutheran Church in Dun­dalk. “He was well liked by his con­gre­ga­tion and had a big laugh that could fill a room.”

The son of Wil­liam E. Hay­man Sr., a New Cas­tle County, Del., civil en­gi­neer, and Vir­ginia Hay­man, a home­maker, Wil­liam Ed­win Hay­man Jr. was one of 10 chil­dren in the fam­ily and was raised in Wilm­ing­ton, Del.

He was a 1968 grad­u­ate of Wilm­ing­ton High School, where he was a star foot­ball player and an out­stand­ing stu­dent.

At the Uni­ver­sity of Delaware, he was a line­backer for the Fight­ing Blue Hens and played in the 1969 and 1970 NCAA Di­vi­sion I East cham­pi­onship foot­ball games.

Af­ter earn­ing his bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Delaware in 1973, he be­came an ele­men­tary school teacher and taught men­tally dis­abled stu­dents in Wilm­ing­ton pub­lic schools.

Mr. Hay­man was also di­rec­tor of the Zion Lutheran Neigh­bor­hood House out­reach and wit­ness pro­gram, then de­vel­oped his own youth ser­vices cor­po­ra­tion, Camp Sonny Inc., which brought en­rich­ment pro­grams to dis­ad­van­taged Wilm­ing­ton youth.

His work in the com­mu­nity re­sulted in him be­ing named a fi­nal­ist in 1983 and 1984 as Out­stand­ing Young Man of Wilm­ing­ton, Del., fam­ily mem­bers said.

Mr. Hay­man was an ex­ec­u­tive, com­mu­nity ser­vice di­rec­tor and ur­ban re­la­tions spe­cial­ist with the Boy Scouts be­fore en­ter­ing the sem­i­nary.

“Even though he had been help­ing peo­ple, Bill felt a call­ing and wanted to serve God’s peo­ple,” said his wife of 29 years, the for­mer Mar­garet R. “Marge” Hazewski, a re­tired Ver­i­zon in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ist who first met Mr. Hay­man when they were in high school. They mar­ried af­ter re­con­nect­ing years later.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in 1989 from the Lutheran The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in Philadel­phia, Mr. Hay­man be­came pas­tor for three years at Mes­siah Lutheran Church in Philadel­phia, then served one year as in­terim pas­tor at St. John Lutheran Church in Philadel­phia.

In 1993, Mr. Hay­man be­came pas­tor of the Lutheran Church of the Liv­ing Word in Columbia, where he re­mained un­til 2001, when he took over as pas­tor of St. Ti­mothy Lutheran Church in Dun­dalk.

“My hus­band was a mem­ber of the call com­mit­tee that brought Rev­erend Hay­man to St. Ti­mothy’s,” said long­time parish­ioner Pa­tri­cia D. War­fel of Dun­dalk. “He was well liked by the en­tire con­gre­ga­tion. He was out­go­ing, gre­gar­i­ous and very spir­i­tual.”

Mr. Hay­man took a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in the chil­dren of the con­gre­ga­tion. He ad­vo­cated for the Sun­day school, va­ca­tion Bi­ble school and af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties for young­sters, Ms. War­fel said.

In ad­di­tion to Sun­day ser­vices, he also con­ducted Bi­ble study classes, and vis­ited the sick and shut-ins.

“He was con­stantly on the road,” Ms. War­fel said.

“He brought an ex­u­ber­ance to his ser­mons and he could be an­i­mated at times. It wasn’t un­com­mon for him to break into a song in the mid­dle of a ser­mon with his deep bass voice,” she said. “His ser­mons were very pointed to where we are go­ing in to­day’s world.”

“Here was some­thing he was able to do as an African-Amer­i­can man serv­ing a pri­mar­ily white con­gre­ga­tion — it was the way he helped peo­ple think through or con­front racism, and he did it in a very lov­ing way,” Ms. Kunkel said.

Mr. Hay­man could, at times, bring an un­ex­pected sense of the comic to his ser­mons, such as when he re­quested that parish­ioners turn off cell­phones when at­tend­ing ser­vices.

“One time in the mid­dle of his ser­mon, a cell­phone started ring­ing — it was his. He an­swered the phone and said, ‘Yes, God. Yes, God. OK, God,’ ” Ms. War­fel re­called with a laugh. “You never knew what was go­ing to come from him.”

Ms. Kunkel be­came ac­quainted with Mr. Hay­man about eight years ago when they both at­tended a Lutheran lead­er­ship gath­er­ing.

St. Ti­mothy’s Lutheran Church, Good Shep­herd Lutheran Church and Lutheran Memo­rial Church, all in Dun­dalk, were con­sol­i­dated to cre­ate New Life Lutheran Church, with Ms. Kunkel as its first pas­tor.

“Bill played a ma­jor role in the con­sol­i­da­tion,” Ms. War­fel said.

“He al­ways preached the Gospel well, and I was blessed to serve in the legacy he left be­hind,” Ms. Kunkel said.

In ad­di­tion to his ex­ten­sive work with the Delaware-Mary­land Synod, Mr. Hay­man served as pres­i­dent of the Dun­dalk Area Min­is­te­rial As­so­ci­a­tion and was chap­lain of the Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity Po­lice.

He had also served as a race re­la­tions fa­cil­i­ta­tor at Howard Com­mu­nity Col­lege, was on the board of Grass­roots Cri­sis In­ter­ven­tion Cen­ter and was a su­per­vi­sor with the Coali­tion for Com­pas­sion.

“He was al­ways happy to pitch in with the Dun­dalk Area Min­is­te­rial As­so­ci­a­tion, and he’d swing a ham­mer like ev­ery­one else when it came to work­ing on a project. Peo­ple from church joined in and they got the nick­name ‘Bill’s Flock,’ ” Mr. War­fel said. “He’d also be busy paint­ing signs for the an­nual Dun­dalk Her­itage Fes­ti­val.”

A long­time res­i­dent of Sap­ping­ton Road in Gam­brills, he re­tired in 2010 and moved to St. Cloud, Fla.

Mr. Hay­man en­joyed veg­etable and flower gar­den­ing, which helped re­lieve stress, his wife said. He also was a life­long Dis­ney fan, from the “theme parks to the movies — and ev­ery­thing in be­tween,” she said. “Dis­ney cruises were his fa­vorite va­ca­tions.”

Af­ter mov­ing to Florida, Mr. Hay­man worked 18 months at the Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort. “He worked at the Animal King­dom stroller and wheelchair con­ces­sion, and he loved it,” his wife said.

In ad­di­tion to col­lect­ing Dis­ney mem­o­ra­bilia, Mr. Hay­man was a ded­i­cated ge­neal­o­gist who had traced his fam­ily to the 1650s through a vast col­lec­tion of doc­u­ments that he had col­lected.

He was a mem­ber of Trin­ity Lutheran Church in Kis­sim­mee.

“Bill’s love for God and his love for his fam­ily were the pri­mary driv­ing forces of his life,” Ms. Hay­man wrote in an email.

Plans for a memo­rial ser­vice to be held in Novem­ber are in­com­plete.

In ad­di­tion to his wife, Mr. Hay­man is sur­vived by two daugh­ters, Ke­cia Hay­man of Gaithers­burg and Linda Hay­man-Mo­rales of Dav­en­port, Fla.; four broth­ers, Ed­ward Hay­man of Tampa, Fla., Dale Hay­man of Ne­wark, Del., Jeffrey Hay­man of Mil­wau­kee and Wade Hay­man of Dover, Del.; and a sis­ter, Es­ther Welch of Glen­dale, Wis. The Rev. Wil­liam E. Hay­man Jr. helped his con­gre­ga­tion con­front racism, a col­league said.

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