Rosamond Meehan Hayes passed away peacefully on November 1, 2019 at her home in Alexandria, Virginia. She was born on May 4, 1927 in Verona, Italy. Rosamond was the widow of Carroll W. (“Bill”) Hayes. She was a wonderful, elegant lady, funny raconteur, lovely to be with, and sweet and generous to a fault. Even as death neared, Rosamond remained thoughtful and thankful.
Until the age of fourteen, Rosamond lived with her family in Verona, Italy and then in Venice. Her Italian American mother Contessa Carolina Bevilacqua Lazise Di Nogarole Meehan and American father Charles Michael Meehan ran a cultural school for young American women. The school provided Rosamond, and her beloved sister Julie, unique educational opportunities. Rosamond credited this upbringing as the source of her ability to fluently speak, and read and write, four languages.
As military tensions escalated in Europe the school was closed. Rosamond’s father took work in the American consular office in Venice. In June 1941, the U.S. State Department informed the German and Italian Embassies that their personnel had to leave the United States. A reciprocal directive was issued by the German and Italian governments requiring U.S. Embassy personnel to leave Europe. An exchange was arranged. German and Italian workers left from New York City aboard the U.S.S. West Point for Lisbon, Portugal. American personnel living in Europe travelled by two special trains to their exchange point in Lisbon. Along the way, Rosamond’s train was stopped by Nazis soldiers who required the passengers to detrain. After a day of governmental negotiations, the train was released, and the Americans were allowed to proceed to Lisbon. On August 1, 1941, just four months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S.S. West Point safely returned its passengers to New York City.
Rosamond and her family settled in New York City. She worked part-time as a language tutor to help put herself through both the Convent of the Sacred Heart school and Manhattanville College. In November 1950, Rosamond married Bill Hayes at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. She and her husband later moved to Alexandria, Virginia.
Rosamond never stopped giving of herself. She raised a family while working as a librarian at Queen of Apostles School in Alexandria, Virginia. She also volunteered as an English as a Second Language teacher in the Alexandria public school system for more than fifteen years. She enjoyed summers with family in Spring Lake, New Jersey and Ocean City, Maryland, loved to garden, to travel, to play bridge, to boat on the Chesapeake Bay, and most of all she loved her grandchildren.
Rosamond is survived by her loving sons, Carroll William "Bill" Hayes, Jr. and daughter-in-law Christine Conway-Hayes of Kingston, MA., Mark Charles Hayes and daughter-in-law Gail Yorty Hayes of Falls Church, VA., and John Thomas "Tim" Hayes and daughter-in-law Julie Hayes of Fairfax, Virginia. She is also survived by her grandchildren Andrew Conway and his wife Lydia of Charlestown, MA, Daniel Hayes of Atlanta, GA, Andrew Hayes of Cincinnati, OH, Taylor Hayes of Raleigh, NC, Katie Hayes of Arlington, VA and Jenna Hayes of Fairfax, VA. Additionally, Rosamond is survived by brother-in-law Wayne M. Weisner, M.D., and sisters-in-law Mary Hayes Johansen and Elizabeth A. Hayes and numerous nephews, nieces and grand nephews and nieces. Rosamond’s beloved sister Julie Meehan Timberlake preceded her in death. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.
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