Tonawanda News

Local News

June 22, 2013

CENTURY OLD HERO

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “My uncle (Hayes) is doing just fine,” said Bernard Burns, who operates a printing business in New Jersey. “In fact, he was riding his bike regularly right up until he was 95,” Burns added. A retired police officer, Hayes also was a tour bus driver for several years.

Meanwhile, Roger, 59, is now an executive with a Huntsville, Ala.-based realty firm. His sister, Deanne Woodward Simpson, 69, lives in Lakeland, Fla. Quattrochi, who lived in Penns Grove, N.J., died more than 20 years ago.

For years, it seemed, the family was virtually hounded by the press. In an interview with a Gazette reporter a few years ago, Roger said: “My sister and I really didn’t ever talk about that day. Our mother had told us years ago that we needed to put it behind us and to realize how fortunate we were to survive.”

There was, however, an exception, Roger admitted, “When one of my sons was in elementary school and asked if I would come to class and do a show-and-tell, I was glad to do it.”

Family and friends are honoring Hayes at a party today. The printed invitation featured a photo of him sitting on his motorcycle. In his hometown of Vauxhall, N.J., he’s being hailed as “Our Hero of the Century.”

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