Nancy Lee Carlson “Momo” Hayes, age 86, entered into heaven peacefully on March 11, 2021. She leaves behind her beloved children, Peter C (Karie) Hayes II, Jodi (Bradley) Robinson, Karen (Barry) Smith, and Dana (Ross) Erickson.
She is the devoted grandmother of Bryan (Chrissy) Smith, Lindsey (Timothy) Lucinski, David John “DJ” (fiancée Tamara) Foote, Ryan Foote, Alison (fiancé Andy) Hayes, Liam Dodd, Annie Hayes, Zoe (fiancé Chris) Dodd; proud great-grandmother of Kennedy Lee, Jack, Aria, Vera, Koda, Kaylee. She is the daughter of the late, first-generation Swedish-Americans Oscar and Koren Carlson.
Nancy was born in Mount Kisco, New York, and raised in Pleasantville, New York. She was a 1956 graduate of SUNY Cortland. After graduation, she raised her family in Tonawanda and then on Grand Island, where she proudly resided for the remainder of her life. Nancy’s children fondly remember her as a remarkable mother. Nancy, a well-known substitute and special education teacher in the Grand Island School District for 44 years, was a true Viking even after her retirement in 2001.
Throughout her life, Nancy enjoyed traveling to Wales and other European countries, as well as New England; she enjoyed no place more than being on Grand Island surrounded by her family and friends. Better known as “Momo” to her grandchildren, and eventually the community, Momo supportively spent her free time enjoying her grandchildren’s football, lacrosse, hockey, basketball and softball games and swim meets; choral, band and orchestra concerts. Momo also dedicated special time to each grandchild, focusing on proper dining etiquette that became known as “John’s Flaming Hearth Prep School.”
Every Friday, for the past 40 years, she got together with her “Domino Group” to play various games and enjoy each other’s company. She would even teach her grandchildren and great-granddaughter, Kennedy Lee, her domino “secrets” to make sure the game continues to pass on through generations.
Nancy was a well-known patron of The Village Inn, The Beach House, and Adrian’s for many years. Nancy dedicated her time over the years to Young Life, YWCA, The Neighbors Foundation, and Trinity United Methodist Church. She was a faithful and committed member of the congregation for over 50 years. During her time spent at Trinity she was the UMW president, head of the “Pink Bags” committee that donated toiletries to women veterans, volunteered her time at any function benefiting the church and in the office supporting in any way she could. Nancy considered many members of Trinity as family. She lived a life devoted to her faith, her family, and her favorite stores Target, The Christmas Tree Shoppe, and Tj Maxx. Since her passing, we believe their stock value has plummeted. Nancy will truly be missed within the Grand Island community, as a mentor to many, and as the rock and pillar of her family.
Her legacy will continue on with her words that she left behind, “Be good and do good. Take care of each other, keep in touch as long as possible. Serve God the best way you know how.”
A memorial service is being planned for June. Memorials may be made to Neighbors Foundation or Trinity UMC, (Pink Bag Project in memo area), 2100 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, NY 14072.